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Missouri, Kansas governors aware of potential armed protests across state capitols

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Posted at 2:33 PM, Jan 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-11 17:40:41-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Following an FBI memo sent to law enforcement officials across the U.S. on Monday, governors from both Kansas and Missouri say they are aware of the threats.

The memo warned of potential armed protests at all 50 state capitols, beginning on Jan. 16.

An armed group also threatened an uprising at the U.S. Capitol if President Donald Trump is removed from office by Congress, according to the FBI.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly's office told 41 Action News that it "is aware of the heightened risks being reported, and we are taking all threats seriously."

Following his inauguration on Monday, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson was asked about the possible protests during a press briefing.

"Yes, we have took precautions to that, and of course we're quite aware of what's going on there," Parson said.

Parson did not specify on what those precautions include.

"I've said all along whether it's in Missouri or it's in Washington, D.C., I believe in civil protest. I believe people have the right to the First Amendment," he said. "If you are violating the law, you are responsible for your own actions. Trying to blame somebody for all your actions is not who we are."

41 Action News received this statement from the FBI on what actions it would take following the memo it released.

“While our standard practice is to not comment on specific intelligence products, the FBI is supporting our state, local, and federal law enforcement partners with maintaining public safety in the communities we serve. Our efforts are focused on identifying, investigating, and disrupting individuals that are inciting violence and engaging in criminal activity. As we do in the normal course of business, we are gathering information to identify any potential threats and are sharing that information with our partners. The FBI respects the rights of individuals to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights. Our focus is not on peaceful protesters, but on those threatening their safety and the safety of other citizens with violence and destruction of property."

41 Actions News also reached out to the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Kansas Highway Patrol to see if the agencies are taking any additional action following the FBI's memo.

Lt. Candice Breshears with the Kansas Highway Patrol says the agency is just monitoring information from intelligence at this time.

The MSHP has yet responded.