Maryland State House quiet as Biden sworn in despite warnings of unrest

The area surrounding the Maryland State House was quiet on Wednesday, Jan. 20, as U.S. President Joe Biden was sworn into office. Armed demonstrations of which the FBI warned were not carried out in Annapolis. 

The area around the Maryland State House was calm on Wednesday as President Joe Biden was sworn in at the U.S. Capitol — a contrast to federal law enforcement warnings of potential unrest in state capitals this week.

A handful of manned and unmanned police vehicles with flashing lights dotted parts of Annapolis from morning through the day, but foot and other traffic was light, and there were no protesters in sight. 

The FBI had warned of possible violence in all 50 state capitals leading up to Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20 as tensions lingered from rioters' storming of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6. 

Gov. Larry Hogan said during a news conference last week that he was briefed on the potential threats, and as a precaution, Maryland capitol and state police were employing "additional security measures" at the State House complex. 

When asked about reports that armed protesters could be headed to Annapolis, Hogan said, “I would strongly advise anyone not to come to the State House armed. And I think they would regret that if they did.”

The anticipated unrest never materialized, and just before 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Hogan spokesman Mike Ricci sent out a tweet calling the capital city "sleepy Annapolis" to illustrate the quiet scene around the State House during Biden's inaugural. 

"Maryland Capitol Police have no reports of non-permitted rallies and have received no indications of any upcoming rallies," Ricci wrote. 

In neighboring D.C., Biden's swearing-in ceremony went off without interruption with more than 25,000 National Guard members, some of whom were sent from Maryland, securing the perimeter around the U.S. Capitol.

Of Biden assuming the presidency, Hogan said in a statement Wednesday afternoon he pledges to Biden "the same spirit of partnership, honesty, and goodwill that I offered to President Trump and President Obama."

“Our nation faces unprecedented challenges," Hogan said. "We must defeat this pandemic, restore economic prosperity, and show Americans that we can deliver solutions to the serious problems that face us.

"We can only do that if we turn the page on the hate and dysfunction that infects our politics and deliver real, bipartisan action."