Some Tearing Down Barriers
Post reporters this morning have spotted serveral instances of the frustrated crowd bypassing barriers or fences in order to access the parade route or Mall.
At 6th and D streets, several thousand parade-goers streamed past the first line of security but were stopped at a checkpoint closer in, Michael Birnbaum reported.
Meanwhile at 9th Street and Independence Avenue south of the Mall, Post reporter Deb Wilber saw people pulled apart a fence and began walking in -- trampling bushes and other plants -- and the pushed through a second fence onto the mall. Riot police briefly closed that gap before police began allowing people in.
Further west, Capitol Police chief Phil Morse sped down to the reflecting pool near the Capitol after hearing that a crowd had trampled a security gate, Post reporter Mary Beth Sheridan reported. He found the crowd on south side of reflecting pool pressed against metal barriers and police preparing to push them back.
"Anything we do to tell them they can't be part of this is the wrong thing," he told the officers, reversing the order to psh back the crowd. "They'll work with us."
He talked to crowd, urging patience. "Everyone stay nice and calm," he urged.
Spectators said police had allowed crowd to knock down temporary fencing and advance to front of Reflecting pool.
"It cause a stampede" Diane Greene, 38 of Washington, told the chief.
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