FILE – In this Dec. 17, 2020 file photo, District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser speaks during a news conference in Washington. (Shawn Thew/Pool via AP, File)
UPDATED 8:23 AM PT – Thursday, January 7, 2021
The nation’s capitol has extended its emergency declaration following violent protests that overtook the Capitol Building on Wednesday.
While speaking at a press conference, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said she was increasing the citywide public emergency order she declared earlier in the day for an additional 15 days.
“Today I signed an extension of the public emergency that I declared today for 15 days, so that we can continue to ensure peace and security,” she stated.
Law enforcement gained control of the situation in the evening with authorities using chemical irritants to clear the area. According to D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee, a total of four people died on the grounds of the Capitol Building and more than 50 protesters were arrested.
“We have made in excess of 52 arrests,” he announced. “Four arrests, for carrying pistols without licenses, one arrest for possession of prohibited weapons, 47 arrests related to curfew violations and unlawful entry.
Police said they also found weapons and an array of explosives around different parts of the D.C. area.
“Two pipe bombs have been recovered: one pipe bomb from the DNC (Democratic National Committee), another pipe bomb from the RNC (Republican National Committee),” announced Chief Contee. “A cooler from a vehicle with a long gun that also included Molotov cocktails. This also was on the grounds of the United States Capitol.”
Additionally, authorities said 14 police officers were injured during the demonstrations and two had to be hospitalized.
The mayor’s public emergency is set to expire on January 21, unless an additional order is issued.