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Police officers watch as demonstrators gather for the "Justice for J6" rally in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 18, 2021. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

A few hundred demonstrators were met by a heavy law enforcement presence on Saturday at the "Justice for J6" rally outside the fenced-off U.S. Capitol, AP reports.

The latest: Four people were arrested at the rally, including one person with a gun, one with a knife and two with outstanding warrants, per the U.S. Capitol Police.

  • About 400 to 450 people were inside the protest area, excluding law enforcement, Capitol Police said.

Driving the news: Media and police officers — from the U.S. Capitol Police and D.C.'s police department — vastly outnumbered the demonstrators in attendance, according to AP.

  • Former Trump campaign staffer and rally organizer Matt Braynard opened the rally, asking for a round of applause for police officers.

State of play: Security preparations ramped up ahead of the pro-Trump demonstration, where hundreds of protesters were expected to show support for individuals arrested for storming the Capitol on Jan. 6.

  • Security fencing around the Capitol was reinstalled and multiple congressional offices closed ahead of the rally.
  • Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin approved a request from Capitol Police to provide 100 D.C. National Guard troops in case law enforcement requires additional support.
  • A permit for the rally allowed 700 people, but police were concerned that some demonstrators could arrive with weapons, per AP.

Go deeper: Senate offices closing ahead of "Justice for J6" demonstration

Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

For some witnesses, sharing crimes on social media comes first

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

As the man Atlanta police say shot and killed a woman and fired at officers early Wednesday, some witnesses’ first instinct wasn’t to call 911.

Instead, they took out their phones and filmed the incident for social media before calling police, leading the department to publicly call on anyone who recorded what happened to share what they have with investigators.

Austin police staffing measure draws national attention

Dueling campaign signs outside a voting precinct in South Austin. Photo: Asher Price/Axios

The big kahuna on the ballot is Proposition A, which would put more cops on the street — at a cost.

Why it matters: If approved by voters, the city would be required to have at least two officers for every 1,000 people — it’s now at about 1.7.

  • City finance officials say the measure could cost as much as $600 million over five years.
Mike Allen, author of AM
41 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Fauci fires back at Rand Paul for slam on tonight's "Axios on HBO"

Responding to charges by Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday's "Axios on HBO," NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "ABC This Week" that it's "molecularly impossible" for U.S.-funded bat virus research in China to have produced COVID-19.

Why it matters: The issue 0f Wuhan research was reignited on the right last week with a National Institutes of Health letter to Congress disclosing more about the research.