DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton has introduced legislation to stop the US Capitol Police’s (USCP) fencing around the Capitol from becoming permanent.
The National Guard placed the fence to protect the complex and federal buildings following the January 6 Capitol riot that claimed five lives and injured dozens as pro-Trump groups attempted to disrupt the certification of President Joe Biden‘s election win.
The measure was taken in an effort to prevent possible violence during Biden’s inauguration on January 20.
“There are many state-of-the-art options that wouldn’t needlessly wall off the Capitol complex like a fortress that needs to be protected from the people we represent,” Norton tweeted on Monday, after announcing the bill.
There are many state-of-the-art options that wouldn't needlessly wall off the Capitol complex like a fortress that needs to be protected from the people we represent.
— Eleanor #DCStatehood Holmes Norton (@EleanorNorton) February 8, 2021
A call to keep the nearly three-mile fence permanently came two weeks ago from Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman, who was appointed in the wake of the Capitol insurrection after Steven Sund, the former head of the Department stepped down, becoming the first woman and first African American to be leading the USCP.
Mayor Muriel Bowser was among those who objected to the idea of permanent fencing, along with many DC residents. However, the Bowser administration doesn’t have jurisdiction over the Capitol grounds as they are federal territory.
Norton will be hosting a virtual town hall for DC residents to express their opinions on the events of January 6 on Thursday, February 11, at 6 pm. Those willing to attend the event must RSVP to NortonEvents@mail.house.gov.