Federal authorities are expected to erect a “non-scalable” fence around the entire perimeter of the White House ahead of Tuesday’s election in preparation of potential unrest surrounding the election, according to reports.
CNN and NBC News have reported that officials will install a fence similar to the one that had been used in June as riots rocked the nation’s capital in the wake of the death of George Floyd.
The White House on lockdown: A federal law enforcement source tells NBC that beginning tomorrow, crews will build a “non-scalable” fence to secure the WH complex, Ellipse and Lafayette Square.
250 National Guardsmen have been put on standby, reporting to Metro Police officials.
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) November 2, 2020
Law enforcement and other agencies are preparing for possible protests, placing 250 National Guardsmen on standby should unrest break out in downtown D.C.
The White House National Security Council, the Office of Personnel Management, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the various intelligence agencies and the military have met more than 60 times since January to prepare for whatever may come after Tuesday’s election.
“If there’s no winner, you will see significant deployments of officers at all levels across the capital,” Patrick Burke, executive director of the Washington, D.C., Police Foundation, told CNN. “Officers will get cancellations of days off, extensions of shifts and full deployments of officers across the city.”
Washington, D.C., Metro Police Chief Peter Newsham cautioned the District’s City Council last month that the area would likely see unrest in the wake of the election. A number of businesses near the White House have boarded up their windows to prepare.
The results of the election, which are likely to come some time after Election Day due to an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots that will need to be counted nationwide as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, come as the country has seen months of unrest. Tensions have boiled over nationwide in recent months as Americans have grappled with a racial reckoning, economic recession and coronavirus lockdowns simultaneously.