Capitol Alert

Concerns about rally prompt early closure of state Capitol

Horse mounted CHP officers patrol Capitol Park. Legislative offices have told employees to go home early because of concerns about a rally promoted on social media.
Horse mounted CHP officers patrol Capitol Park. Legislative offices have told employees to go home early because of concerns about a rally promoted on social media. acruz@sacbee.com

Legislative leaders are sending employees home early Friday afternoon over concerns about a rally to protest the recent killings of African Americans by police officers.

Promoted on social media, the expected rally by supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement comes less than a day after the killings of five Dallas police officers, allegedly by an Army veteran who was African American.

“The building will be closing at 5 instead of 6 today. If you have to be in the building for any reason, please plan accordingly,” the office of Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount, said in a message to Assembly offices Friday. Senate offices received similar notices.

“Capitol security agreed to close the building earlier due to an unpermitted rally this evening,” Senate spokesman Anthony Reyes said.

No group has received a permit to rally at the Capitol today. The rally by Black Lives Matter is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. near 10th and L streets, according to posts on Twitter. Attempts to reach rally organizers were unsuccessful.

“We’re hearing the same things you are,” CHP Officer George Granada said Friday.

Friday’s concerns come two weeks after a permitted rally by a neo-Nazi group at the Capitol descended into chaos, as clashes with anti-fascist protesters left 10 people with stab wounds.

Jeremy B. White of The Bee Capitol Bureau contributed to this story.

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