US Capitol Police says fencing around Capitol building set to be removed as early as Friday

1 year ago 141
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(CNN)The remaining fencing around the US Capitol that was erected in the wake of the January 6 insurrection will start to come down as early as Friday, the US Capitol Police formally announced Wednesday.

In an email obtained by CNN on Wednesday, the US Capitol Police said that "based on the current threat environment, recent enhancements to USCP response capabilities, and enhanced coordination with local, state and federal law enforcement partners, the Capitol Police Board is supporting USCP's recommendation to remove the temporary fencing around Capitol Square."

The Capitol Police Board, which oversees security on the Capitol Campus, needed to give final approval to the removal plans before they could be implemented.

    The Capitol Police said in its email that "removal is expected to begin as early as Friday, July 9th and conclude within two to three days, weather permitting."

      A weather system moving into the Washington area could affect the removal plans and extend the process into the weekend or early next week, but as of Wednesday, the plan was to begin the process on Friday, according a source with direct knowledge of the plans.

      The Capitol Police noted in the email that the "Architect of the Capitol has the ability to and will reinstall the temporary fencing should conditions warrant." The email added that building access restrictions implemented amid the Covid-19 pandemic will remain in place and bike racks will temporarily be used to restrict access to the Lower West Terrace.

      In the weeks after the January 6 insurrection, officials deployed thousands of National Guard troops and installed razor wire and 7-foot fencing to protect the building, turning the US Capitol grounds that had been accessible to the public into a fortress. The unprecedented amount of security on Capitol Hill led lawmakers in both parties to express frustration.

        The outer perimeter fencing around the Capitol complex that had blocked off traffic was removed in late March.

        This story is breaking and will be updated.

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