As the anniversary of the January 6 insurrection approached, the investigations into the causes and participants, as well as any changes in security or policy, came into focus. Since the insurrection, over 700 people have been charged in connection to it.
Javed Ali, associate professor of practice, told The National News, “The amount of hours used to compile the individual cases must be overwhelming. Investigators are having to pour through tons of social media activity, cellphone activity, interviews with either witnesses, or family members, or people around potential defendants or folks who've been charged."
Ali described the consequences that participants face, and said that he expects more to be charged.
“Most of those crimes are misdemeanors but there have been some people charged with more serious felonies. So within this pool from Michigan, there have been people who definitely acted out fairly violently against law enforcement," he told WXYZ. “This may not be the final number of people arrested or charged with links to Michigan."
In Michigan, many are looking back on the Spring 2020 armed protests at the state Capitol and how it was connected to the insurrection.
"The Lansing protest was not only a bell weather of anger, but also perhaps some kind of operational blueprint to how to then conduct something similar on the U.S. Capitol," Ali said in a WZZM interview. "I think there's still a large number of people who are angry and upset and a number of grievances that are affecting them, but we haven't seen the level of activity either in terms of arrests or successful attacks like in years past. I think we need more time to understand how this will play out in the future."
Because of the continued anger, safety of the state Capitol building is being debated along partisan lines. Democrats have asked for more security, including metal detectors, while most Republican members of the state legislature are questioning the need and cost.
"Why not metal detectors? Why not some other security measures?” Ali asked WXYZ. “I’d argue if you look at lessons learned from Jan. 6 at the Capitol and compared to Michigan, I would argue there needs to be more done."
Read the items featuring Ali below:
January 6 Capitol riot anniversary: biggest criminal investigation in US history, The National News, January 4, 2022
Security debate at Michigan Capitol continues nearly a year after Jan. 6 riot, WXYZ, January 4, 2022
Michigan lawmaker remembers fear, chaos during Jan. 6 Capitol riot, WXYZ, January 6, 2022