The inner ring of fencing around the US Capitol was removed Saturday, more than six months after the Jan. 6 riot that led to its construction.
Small knots of tourists quickly ventured onto the historic building’s broad stone plaza to snap close-ups of its marble facade and iconic steps, and joggers weaved through the scattered groups.
House Sergeant at Arms William Walker said Wednesday that the fencing would begin to come down this weekend based on a new Capitol Police assessment showing a lower threat level than earlier this year. The outer ring of fencing was removed in March.
The threat level was heightened in April after a Nation of Islam devotee slammed his car into two members of the US Capitol Police, killing Officer William “Billy” Evans.
Republican lawmakers have complained about the fencing for months. More than 40 GOP members of Congress signed a February letter saying that the barriers meant that the building was no longer “The People’s House.”
“It’s time for healing and it’s time for the removal of the fencing so the nation may move forward,” the letter read.