(CBS Local)– Tuesday is Election Day and several states around the country are preparing for violence and unrest regardless of the result in the 2020 Presidential Election. While businesses are boarding up their store fronts, there are also militia groups in states like Michigan that are preparing for violence in the streets in a different way.
CBS News 60 in 6 correspondent Laurie Segall recently went to Michigan to talk with members of militia groups such as the Boogaloo Boys and the Michigan Home Guard about why these groups formed and why they think the country is headed towards a civil war.
“One of these groups is anti-government and one of these groups believes they want to help law enforcement, although they are unauthorized to help law enforcement,” said Segall, in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “All of this is this tension building up ahead of the election. I spent a weekend with a lot of folks with AR-15s. It was certainly a fascinating look at folks who feel their voices are not being heard and who believe there will be civil unrest to come.”
The possibility of civil unrest is one of the most pressing issues facing law enforcement this election week. As @LaurieSegall reports, members of extremist groups like the Boogaloo Boys say they are bracing for violence no matter the results tomorrow. https://t.co/pnzvug5lLe pic.twitter.com/hGXOgPKdCF
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) November 2, 2020
Segall says one of the most surprising things about these militias is just how human these men are. The CBS News correspondent talked to people who work day jobs as firefighters and mechanics and then come home after work and run drills with their militias. In Segall’s piece, she reveals that membership has doubled in the Michigan Home Guard since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both the groups featured in the 60 in 6 story recently made news because of their connections to the plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
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“I think that was the fascinating backdrop to all of this. We were there a week and a half after this foiled plot to kidnap the governor of Michigan. This is 2020 and I just said those words out loud,” said Segall. “If you look at it, the folks who were arrested had links to both the Boogaloo Boys and the Michigan Home Guard. They said the men who were arrested had been kicked out of the groups. They said they don’t excuse it, but they said it’s all on her [Whitmer]. This dangerous rhetoric is beginning to manifest itself. Increasingly what is happening is you have these people who want to take matters into their own hands. They are associated with kidnapping plots or violence and it’s a very sensitive time. I was sitting in a living room in Lansing, Michigan with a group of men with AR-15s talking about keeping peace with guns. This is a recipe for disaster. I worry about civil unrest. Everyone of these people believed their training would be needed after the election.