Texas Capitol shuttered in wake of DC protest

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

AUSTIN, Texas (KTRK) -- The Texas Department of Public Safety closed the Texas Capitol Wednesday afternoon "out of abundance of caution." The decision was made in the hours after thousands of protesters stormed the US Capitol in Washington, DC.

It does not appear there was any immediate threat in Austin. Local media in Austin reported a small, but peaceful, protest earlier Wednesday on Capitol grounds.

In a statement, the DPS says, "Effective immediately, the Texas State Capitol building and grounds will be closing to the public out of an abundance of caution. While we do not discuss operational details, DPS will continue to adjust our operations as needed to maintain public order and address potential threats."

President-elect Joe Biden has called the violent protests on the U.S. Capitol "an assault on the most sacred of American undertakings: the doing of the people's business."

Texas Governor Greg Abbott's office released a statement calling for the restoration of order. It does not appear Abbott was evacuated from his Capitol office suite. From Governor Abbott's office, "Peaceful protest is a core tenet of the United States Constitution; violence and mayhem are not. The violence and mayhem must stop. America is founded on the rule of law, and the law enforcement officers working to restore order at the United States Capitol must be heeded."

The Texas Capitol closure comes just days before the Texas Legislature is scheduled to open its session on Jan. 12.