The US Capitol Police Board has approved the department’s request to install a temporary fence around the Capitol ahead of the planned right-wing rally on Saturday, September 18, this is according to Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger in his statement to reporters on Monday.
The manger said the fence will start going up a “day or two” before the event, and if “everything goes well,” it will come down “very soon” after.
Fencing was erected around the Capitol following the deadly January 6 riot though it was eventually pared back and removed over the summer.
In a statement Monday, Capitol Police said that its board had “issued an emergency declaration, which will go into effect about the time of the demonstration and allow the Department to deputize outside law enforcement officers as the United States Capitol Police Special Officers.”
“We want to reassure everyone these are temporary measures to ensure everyone’s safety,” Manger said in the statement. “We are extremely grateful for the support we continue to receive from the local community and our Congressional stakeholders as we carry out our critical mission.”
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Law enforcement officials are bracing for potential clashes and unrest during an upcoming right-wing rally in Washington, DC, on Saturday, as violent rhetoric surrounding the event has increased online and counter-protests are being planned for the same day, according to an internal Capitol Police memo reviewed by CNN last week.
Capitol Police and law enforcement are preparing for some of the protesters attending the event to be armed, a source who was part of a briefing on preparations told CNN. The detail was first reported by The Associated Press.
The manger briefed the top four congressional leaders on Monday about security preparations for the September 18 rally, which is being organized by a former Trump campaign staffer in support of the jailed January 6 rioters. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell all attended the security briefing.
“Just briefing them about the demonstration that’s scheduled for September 18, the intelligence information that we’re aware of, and a little bit about our operational plan,” Manger told reporters.
Manger added that the department will also host a press briefing a “day or two” before the event.