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Small crowd gathers in D.C. to protest arrests of Jan. 6 rioters


A demonstrator carrying a U.S flag passes by police officers standing in formation during a rally in support of defendants being prosecuted in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, D.C., U.S., September 18, 2021.

Reuters A sparse crowd of demonstrators gathered in Washington to rally for those criminally charged in the Jan. 6 deadly pro-Trump insurrection.| Reuters

A sparse crowd of demonstrators gathered in Washington to rally for those criminally charged in the Jan. 6 deadly pro-Trump insurrection.

The organizers called it “Justice for J6” to refer to when supporters of Donald Trump stormed Washington’s Capitol building in an attempt stop certification of 2020 election results.

Protestors were met with heavy presence of local, state and federal law enforcement — and members of the press — outnumbering event attendees.

According to U.S. Capitol Police’s social media, there were a few minor arrests made Saturday during a peaceful demonstration. According to police, the arrests were for weapons violation, possessing a firearm, and probation violation.

Robert Contee, Chief of Washington Metropolitan Police said that the crowd was similar to what he expected and suggested that the increased police presence might have discouraged attendance.

Police in advance of Saturday ramped up security around the CapitolThey erected fences surrounding the Capitol grounds and Supreme Court as well as the Library of Congress and other congressional offices.

One hundred National Guard troops were on standby to help protect the Capitol, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Friday.

A police officer from riot stands by during the support rally for defendants in the attack on Capitol 6 January, Washington, U.S.A, September 18, 2021.

Elizabeth Frantz | Reuters

Matt Braynard, the former Trump campaign staffer who organized the rally, previously told CNBC he expected the protest to be peaceful.

The Jan. 6 Capitol riot began shortly after Trump, speaking at a rally outside the White House, urged the crowd to march to Congress and fight against the certification of Joe Biden‘s election as president.

The riot resulted in four deaths, one of which was a woman who tried to climb through a window towards the House of Representatives chamber.

The Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was being attacked by rioters in the early hours of his collapsed, died that day. Since the incident, four police officers responding to the insurrection committed suicide.

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Trump on Thursday said he sided with the rally attendees in condemning the criminal prosecution of the Jan. 6 riot participants.

Since the Jan. 6, attack, more than 600 persons were arrested. More than 50 have pleaded guilty for a range of criminal offenses. Six have been found guilty in court, according to the Justice Department.

—CNBC’s Kevin Breuninger, Dan Mangan and Amanda Macias contributed to this report.