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‘Non-scalable’ fence to be installed around the president’s residence ahead of election day, as Washington DC fears mass unrest if results not clear.
A new fence will be set up encircle the White House and surrounding areas in the lead to the November 3 election day as law enforcement in Washington DC is concerned about a possible increase of election-related protests and riots, especially if the outcome of the elections is not clear, CNN reported.
The fence will encompass the Ellipse and Lafayette Square, and 250 national guardsmen will be added to the security perimeter reporting to Metro police. They will be on standby to respond to any social unrest.
But DC Metro police have been preparing its officers for well over a year, as it does ahead of every general election, ensuring that they are prepared to handle everything from civil disturbance to crowd control to potential disruptions to metro transit, Patrick Burke, executive director of the Washington, DC, Police Foundation, previously told CNN. Police have also been working with intelligence officials to ensure the security of Washington, DC's airspace in the event of an attack from above, Burke added, as they routinely do when preparing for moments of heightened anxiety.
The south side of the White House is seen behind layers of fencing less than 24 hours before Election Day. https://t.co/fgt6qgRMKA
According to another report, the fence around the entire perimeter is described as "non- scalable." It will be similar to the ones used earlier this year when mass protests were happening near the complex in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. Many business owners in large US cities, including Washington DC, have similarly pessimistic expectations and have been boarding up their shops against possible vandalism and looting.
The extra layer of security marks the most high-profile example to date of authorities preparing for unrest following this year's election, particularly if there is no clear winner come November 4.