Last week the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) announced it was opening its first field offices ever in Tampa and San Francisco, California because of “potential threats from those states.”
Just a few days later protestors gathered in Tallahassee to call for the release of Floridians arrested following the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
“The new USCP field offices will be in the Tampa and San Francisco areas. At this time, Florida and California are where the majority of our potential threats are,” said Acting USCP Chief Yogananda Pittman in a statement to Fox News. “The field offices will be the first for the Department. A regional approach to investigating and prosecuting threats against (U.S. House and Senate) Members is important, so we will be working closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in those locations. More field offices will be opening in the future.”
Since the January 6 attack, the USCP team has been working with federal law enforcement agents to “track down the suspects and bring them to justice,” according to a release by Pittman for the USCP. So far more than 500 defendants face charges.
Florida is the leading state for arrests related to the attack, with over 50 arrested so far, including at least 36 in Central Florida and Tampa Bay. Of those arrested, five were members of the same Lakeland family and others included a 72-year-old pastor and his son from Melbourne, according to a USA Today database which list each person arrested, along with demographic information and a narrative of their alleged crimes.
About 100 people gathered with signs and flags and rallied on the lawn of the Historic Capitol Saturday to demand release of those arrested following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, calling them “incarcerated patriots.”
A host of the rally was Luis Miguel, a Republican from St. Augustine who is running to unseat Republican U.S. Senator Marco Rubio.
Miguel called on Governor Ron DeSantis to demand the release of “political prisoners” and described those arrested as part of a “patriotic brotherhood.”
The large number of those involved with the Jan. 6 attack allegedly being from Florida, combined with a reported 107 percent increase over the last year in threats to members of Congress, led to the expansion of the Capitol Police presence beyond Washington D.C., according to Pittman.
“Throughout the last six months, the United States Capitol Police has been working on a package of changes in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack with Congressional stakeholders to support our officers, enhance security around the Capitol Complex, and pivot towards an intelligence-based protective agency,” she said.
Florida GOP Representative Kat Cammack, who is married to a first responder, praised the work of the Capitol Police and their recent expansion to her home state.
Cammack, who represents the Gainesville area, told Fox News, “Over the last six months, I’ve had the honor of getting to know the dedicated men and women of the United States Capitol Police. The hardworking law enforcement officers of the Capitol Hill community work tirelessly to protect Members and staff and I know their work in this capacity will only continue, especially as they expand into field offices in California and Florida.”