SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon State Police said it is aware of “rumors” that armed groups are considering taking over the state Capitol and warned that anyone attempting that would be arrested.
The agency also asked Oregonians in a brief statement released late Wednesday to report anyone who may be planning an armed takeover to authorities.
Hundreds of supporters of President Donald Trump — many of them armed — gathered Wednesday at the statehouse and burned a life-size puppet of Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, in effigy. Police in riot gear declared an unlawful assembly and cleared the demonstrators by the late afternoon.
One person was arrested on suspicion of harassment and disorderly conduct during the protest. A second man was arrested on trespassing charges after the protest when state troopers found him after nightfall trying to enter the Capitol while armed.
The pro-Trump crowd was rallying around false allegations of election fraud on the same day that that an angry mob stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Some of those in attendance were members of Proud Boys, a far-right wing group.
Prior to the protests, state office buildings around the Capitol were closed as authorities prepared for crowds and potential damage.
Salem has been the site of weekly protests since the November election and has seen violent clashes between pro-Trump demonstrators who falsely believe the election was stolen from him and opponents.