US Capitol Security Fence to Come Down
Officials at the U.S. Capitol say workers were expected Friday to begin removing the last of the temporary security fencing around the U.S. Capitol in Washington, more than six months after it was attacked.
U.S. House of Representatives Sergeant at Arms William Walker on Wednesday sent a memo, obtained by the media, to all members of Congress and staff saying that a U.S. Capitol Police board decided it was time to remove the fencing, based on the force’s most recent threat environment assessment and coordination with local and federal law enforcement.The memo said Capitol Police would continue to monitor intelligence information for any threats and, if need be, could reinstall the fencing quickly should conditions call for it. Removal of the fence will take up to three days.An outer perimeter of similar fencing was removed in March.The memo said current restrictions on access to the Capitol would remain in place. Tourists and other visitors have not been allowed inside since last year because of distancing restrictions prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.The more than 2-meter-high fence, topped with razor wire in some places, went up in January, after supporters of former President Donald Trump attacked the Capitol following a speech by the president.Five people died during the violence and on the day after, including a Capitol Police officer. Two police officers who took part in the defense of the Capitol later took their own lives. More than 100 police officers were injured. More than 535 people have been charged with taking part in the attack.Shortly before midday Friday, a reporter from Washington’s WRC-TV reported there was no sign that work had begun on removing the fence and Capitol Police declined to comment on when or if it would begin.