LOS ANGELES (CNS) - As concern looms over a potential outbreak of violence leading up to the presidential inauguration next week, some local authorities issued messages today reassuring the public that safeguarding the Los Angeles community was their top focus.
In a video posted to social media Wednesday, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva addressed residents, saying “your public safety is my priority.''
Villanueva condemned the mob violence that took place at the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6 -- when a destructive group of President Donald Trump's supporters breached the building in an attempt to halt the election certification. He compared his disapproval of that day's events to “the rioting and looting we saw after the killing of George Floyd.''
He urged residents to exercise their First Amendment rights to speech and protest, but said “it has to be in a manner that does not harm our communities.''
In a similar message Wednesday, Culver City Police Chief Manuel Cid said the agency was “aware of concerns from members of the public about potential armed protests throughout the country'' in the days leading up to the inauguration, but said no specific threats or plans for demonstrations have been made.
“The Culver City Police Department understands the severity of the situation and is committed to safeguarding the lives and property of our community members,'' Cid said in a statement. ''We want to reassure the community that we are prepared should any issues arise, and are collaborating with our local, state and federal partners.''
The remarks from authorities come as federal officials warned some law enforcement leaders today about the potential for violence and attacks on state and federal buildings during the week leading up to the inauguration, the New York Times reported.
One police chief told the Times that federal officials were “very, very worried about these, what they referred to as domestic violent extremists, embedding themselves in other protests.''
At a Los Angeles Police Commission meeting Tuesday, Chief Michael Moore said no specific threats had been made to the city or elected officials, but that the agency would continue monitoring.
Moore addressed what he called a “grievous moment in our time, and in this great democracy, and in the next few days as we move towards this inauguration,'' saying his commitment was “for the safety of Los Angeles, by ensuring that we have added deployment of personnel, that we are ensuring the safety of our city facilities, we are monitoring closely with our state and federal representatives on any information strains, tips or leads relative to protest activity here in the Los Angeles region.''
Photo: Getty Images