Ohio Gov. DeWine Activates 580 Members of Ohio National Guard to Keep Peace in D.C. and Columbus

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed an executive order Tuesday to activate for duty 580 members of the Ohio National Guard (ONG).

During the COVID press conference, DeWine said he talked with Major General John C. Harris and based on that communication anticipates that 380 of the activated guard will remain in Ohio, while 200 will be sent to Washington, D.C to assist in the January 20 Presidential Inauguration.

The governor said that sending members of the ONG to D.C. for an inauguration is standard.  The order is effective on January 14 and runs through January 21.

During the question and answer part of the briefing DeWine was asked several times about the Order. One question centered around the rumor that a protest is planned at the Ohio Statehouse on Saturday – DeWine was asked what message he would send those protestors and what guarantees he could make the protest will be safe.

“They have every right to protest,” said DeWine. “But they don’t have the right to be destructive or hurt other people.”

However, when pressed later during another question, the governor said that he is concerned about what might transpire in D.C. or here in Ohio, claiming that his concern isn’t based on any intelligence, but rather the concern is based on what he’s reading in the newspapers and watching on television related to January 6 events in D.C.

One reporter asked DeWine why he activated 1,200 members of the ONG during what the reporter said were “unarmed” protests in Cleveland and Columbus during the summer, but only 580 today, and whether the state should take additional precautions.

DeWine said that security talks are private and there will be more action steps, the order is just the first. Then he said he will talk things over with Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman (R-District 12) and Ohio Speaker of the House of Representatives Bob Cupp (R-Shawnee Twp.).

One conservative source, The Federalist, relied on findings from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) in a report revealing that 95% of summer violence was caused by Black Lives Matter (BLM) and that six percent of protests between May 26 and September 5 involved rioting, looting and similar violence. The outlet claims that 46 deaths occurred due to the violent protests.

Politifact.com reports that there is no way to authenticate, and calls false, the claim 1400 officers were injured and 36 people killed in riots throughout the summer – also stating there is no way to determine whether BLM was solely linked to the violence and destruction. The outlet reports fatalities from summer protests are between 12 and 19, and references an article from the New York Post indicating 700 officers were injured during summer protests throughout the U.S.

The Insurance Information Institute called the summer riots the costliest in U.S. history. However, that information was released in June and is likely much higher, up to $2 billion, according to the New York Post.

Events at the United States Capitol on January 6 are still under heavy scrutiny from federal authorities and currently five deaths are linked to the day – two violence related, three from “separate medical emergencies.”

Protests near the Ohio Statehouse did turn violent through the summer – injuries were sustained by both protestors and law enforcement. One incident involved U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (D-OH-3) being pepper sprayed, only after she took a swing with her left arm at a peace officer (at about :15 into the below video – Beatty in the dark shirt, red mask, with white hair).

On January 6, Speaker Bob Cupp issued a statement on the violence in the Capitol.

DeWine addressed the violent and illegal events that took place on January 6 during a COVID briefing the next day. His remarks are in the video below.

The entire COVID press conference from Tuesday can be viewed below.

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