All streets near the Massachusetts State House have been reopened Sunday, Boston police announced, several hours after saying they would be closed effective immediately and with no set end date.
A Boston police representative said the officers helped Massachusetts State Police secure the State House "out of an abundance of caution," but didn't give more information.
The roughly five-hour street closures came as police in Massachusetts and across the country monitored for threats to state capitols in light of an FBI memo warned that armed protests were possible from Jan. 16 through the inauguration of Joe Biden as president on Jan. 20. A law enforcement official told NBC News the threat came from information gathered in the wake of the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
The closures on Beacon Hill — which Boston police announced around 10 a.m. Sunday — included Beacon Street along Boston Common, and Boston police gave no end date for the closure, saying only that the department "will advise" when the streets reopen. Scores of officers were seen manning the metal barricades that blocked off the streets.
While police didn't initially specify that the street closures were related to the State House, they were all in close proximity to it, and the two biggest streets that border the building were closed off.
Boston police then announced around 3 p.m. that all streets around the State House had been opened again.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has activated up to 500 National Guardsmen to support local law enforcement in case it's necessary. He's sending another 500 to Washington, D.C., to assist the inauguration, which will have heavy security to safeguard the transition of power from President Donald Trump, who has contested without evidence the validity of the election, to Biden.
"I think it's incredibly important for the country that this transition be smooth and as uneventful as possible," Baker said.