DC leaders want to know when razor fence around Capitol will come down

A virtual town hall Thursday night addressed concerns from D.C. neighbors about fencing still up more than a month after the riot at the U.S. Capitol.

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton has introduced a bill asking for the fencing to be removed.

A razor fence surrounds the entirety of the Capitol, and those nearby want that to change.

“We still cannot walk past the Capitol and that will be for some time,” Norton said.

She said she was hopeful that when the snow came police would give some people access to the grounds.

“Sledding would have been a perfect way to do that only letting in a child with a parent, and unfortunately, that didn’t happen,” Norton said.

Ward 6 Council member Charles Allen said that it’s a problem for locals and tourists.

“It was not the lack of a permanent fence that led to the breach of the Capitol by armed insurrectionists,” Allen said.

He added that he wants to see changes soon, so they’re not here to stay.

“We’ve seen in this city, things that are temporary sure seem to turn permanent pretty fast,” Allen said.

Chad Thomas, Capitol Police assistant chief for uniformed operations, said there’s no timeline for taking it down.

Currently, Capitol Police are conducting internal and external security investigations to see what the best next move is for the Capitol security.

“We have an intention to provide a detailed recommendation, when we’re able to, that encompasses all of the lessons learned from the Jan. 6 riot,” Thomas said.

Those who live nearby have started a website and movement to stop a permanent fence from being built around the Capitol.

The group said the current fence is unnecessary.

“While there is the need to protect the Capitol against another instance of domestic violence by insurrectionists, we cannot have the people’s house permanently walled off from our city,” said Christopher Geldart, D.C. acting deputy mayor for public safety and justice.

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