U.S. Capitol Fencing Erected After Riot Could Come Down Next Week

The remaining fencing surrounding the U.S. Capitol, erected after the January 6 riot, could come down next week, according to the Associated Press.

A plan by the U.S. Capitol Police Board aims to have the interior perimeter fence around the Capitol come down by July 9, three people with knowledge of the plan told the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

An outer fence surrounding the Capitol was removed in March a couple months after hundreds of rioters in support of former President Donald Trump charged the steps of the building and broke through its doors.

"We cannot talk about security, which includes any potential physical security infrastructure plans," said a Capitol Police spokesman.

In February, the Capitol Police Board requested congressional leaders to allow the remaining fencing to stay until September.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Fencing Surrounding Capitol
U.S. Capitol security fencing could come down July 9, according to the Associated Press. In this photo, a security fence surrounds the US Capitol ahead of US President Joe Biden's address to a joint session of Congress in Washington, DC, April 28, 2021. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Capitol Police removed an outer fence in March that had cut off a wide swath of the area to cars and pedestrians, blocking major traffic arteries that cross the city. The interior perimeter fence has signs warning that the area is closed to the public.

The Capitol Police Board, which has oversight of the police force, is made up of the sergeants at arms of the House and Senate and the Architect of the Capitol.

The fencing has been a stark symbol of the fear many in the Capitol felt after the mob pushed its way past overwhelmed police officers, broke through windows and doors and ransacked the Capitol as Congress was voting to certify Joe Biden's electoral win.

The fence has also become a political symbol, blocking off one of the country's most visible public buildings as lawmakers and police work to come up with a plan to allow the public back inside but also keep the Capitol and members of Congress safe.

More than 500 people have been charged with federal crimes for their roles in the January 6 riot and dozens of others are still being sought by federal agents. Thousands of National Guard troops who were sent to assist the Capitol Police with securing the complex left months ago.

Just a few weeks after the outer fence came down in March, a man rammed his car into a police checkpoint barrier, killing a Capitol Police officer. The driver was shot and killed after he ran his car into Police Officer Billy Evans and another officer, got out and lunged at police with a knife.

The Capitol Police Board asked congressional leaders to keep the fence in place in part because investigators are tracking continuing threats against lawmakers and the Capitol complex.

On Wednesday, the House launched a new investigation of the Jan. 6 attack, approving a special committee to probe the insurrection.

U.S. Capitol Police Officer Patrols Fence
A U.S. Capitol Police officer patrols the barricaded perimeter of the Capitol grounds in Washington, Monday, June 14, 2021. J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo