People near the Capitol have been living in a guarded environment for months since the riots in the United States Capitol.
The iron fence outside the Capitol and the unleaving National Guard are always reminding the people of the violent scenes that have occurred.
Just as everything gradually calmed down, people began to look forward to returning to the relaxed life of the past, and an attack on the police once again tightened people’s nerves.
On April 2nd local time, a man drove into a roadblock near the north entrance of Congress, killing the suspect and one police officer and injuring another.
The attack on the police once again pushed the issue of security around the Capitol to the front of the stage, and the bipartisan political debate gradually heated up.
The suspect is a follower of hate organizations.
An attack on the police broke the peace of spring.
On April 2nd local time, Noah Green, a 25-year-old African-American man, drove into a roadblock on the north entrance of the Capitol, knocking down two policemen. Then Green got out of the car with a knife and rushed to the police. He was shot and injured by the police.
Eventually, the suspect Green died with a policeman named William Evans, and another policeman was injured but in stable condition.
In memory of Evans, a policeman who died in the line of duty, U.S. President Biden and Speaker of the House of Representatives Pelosi ordered the White House and the Capitol to fly at half-mast on the same day of the 2nd. “This is a very difficult time for the Capitol, all the staff and the [police] who protect it,” Biden said in a statement.
The motive of suspect Green’s crime is still under investigation.
Preliminary investigations indicate that the case was committed alone, the police did not classify the case as a domestic terrorist act, and the “external security threat” alert of the Capitol has been lifted.
At present, the survey mainly focuses on Green’s mental health. Anonymous officials told the Associated Press that investigators in the case learned from his family that Green had delusions, who claimed to be a devout follower of the ultra-hate organization, the Islamic National Organization.
The Islamic National Organization mixed with Islamic and Afro-American nationalism to promote the African-American nationalist movement, and its leaders have made serious racist and anti-Semitic remarks.
Suspect Green has also posted a lot of hate speech on social media. However, these remarks were deleted by major social platforms after the attack on the police.
The debate about the safety and security of the Capitol continues.
Just two weeks before the attack on the police, the Capitol police began to dismantle the external fence. The Associated Press pointed out that the incident may delay the gradual opening of the Capitol to the public.
Recently, there has been a fierce debate between the two parties on whether to dismantle security measures such as barbed wire. CNN pointed out that the attack showed that the Capitol remained a “potential target” of violence.
How to ensure the safety of the Capitol and open it to many tourists has become a controversial issue between the two houses of Congress.
The Democratic Party is more cautious about this matter. According to the Washington Post, on April 3 local time, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said that the attack highlighted the need to comprehensively solve the security problem of the Capitol. Democratic Rep. Khanna also believes that the security of surrounding buildings such as the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress and the Capitol needs to be reconsidered.
Republicans have regarded Democrats as “overreacting”, and Republicans, including senior leadership, have criticized the security measures implemented around the Capitol.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has pointed out that Congress is not seriously threatened, that the fences of the Capitol complex remind him of “war zones” and that voters are unable to go to the Capitol, which makes him “very disturbing”. There are also Republican lawmakers who satirize the fence around the Capitol, calling it “Fortress Pelosi”.
Congress discusses the erection of a permanent fence
In early March, Congress released a security review, which showed that the nature of the threat against the Capitol and members of Parliament had changed and was increasingly related to domestic factors.
The report said that the Capitol was “extremely fragile”, partly due to the understaffed, under-equipped and undertrained police force. The leader in completing the report was retired Army Lieutenant General Russell Honoré, who called for the establishment of a rapid reaction force, the addition of police personnel, and the strengthening of intelligence sharing.
A senior Democratic aide told The Washington Post that the House of Representatives is finalizing a $2 billion security supplement plan to add personnel and equipment to congressional police.
But the reform plan was opposed by congressional Republicans because it was not specific enough and expensive. California Rep. Darrell Issa believes that these proposals only require a large amount of funds, and are not a truly comprehensive plan at all.
In addition, both houses of Congress are also seriously discussing whether to put a permanent fence around the Capitol. An anonymous Democratic lawmaker said that even if a permanent fence is set up, it will be styled as an easily erected and removable removable fence. At that time, the fence can be erected to deal with some imminent threats.
It is expected that the erection of permanent fence will be the focus of debate on future security measures. U.S. media Vox pointed out that there is opposition from both parties to the erection of a permanent fence. Senator Roy Blount, R-M., and Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat from Maryland, even proposed legislative measures to prohibit any fence from becoming permanent.
Many internal staff of the Capitol also expressed disgust with the permanent fence and did not want the security measures around the Capitol to be strengthened again. One employee told Vox that the current security measures are enough, and the Capitol is not and should not be “a fortress”.
The controversy of permanent fence is mainly due to the symbolism behind it. Norton, D.C.’s non-voting representative in the House of Representatives, pointed out that erecting a permanent fence will send an exclusive and fearful message to the United States and the world.