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Crowds Amass Near D Street Checkpoint

Security personnel are seen along the parade route this morning. (AFP/Getty)

As crowds gather near D Street NW, authorities try to get a handle on the mass of people.

(6th and D Street NW) -- 9:50 a.m.

Officer Denise Maradiaga of the U.S. Park Police, a spokeswoman at the joint information center, said that she did not know of any fences being knocked down at the 6th and D Street barrier.

"There was a crowd surge over there, however no one got into the parade route area uninspected," Maradiaga said.

(6th and D Street NW)-- 9:21 a.m.
6th and D Street barriers are down. One police officer says, "I don't even care anymore."

(C and 1rst Street NW) -- 9:10 a.m.

On C and 1rst Street people ask the officers where they should go because everyone is stuck. One officer says, "I don't care - no one is listening to me - do what you want, and if a crowd breaks out I'll send them to jail."

(C and 3rd Street NW) -- 7:45 a.m.
Police are taking about 60 people at a time from the line on left and right to go through security. People are worried about getting to the Capitol in time for ceremonies. "It starts at 12," one frustrated guy yelled.

Another police officer with a bull horn again urged the anxious crowd to remain calm. "If you remain calm you will get through fastly," the officer said.

(C and 3rd Street NW) -- 7:16 a.m.
A police officer with a bull horn walks up and down in front of crowds telling people if anyone pushes, they will shut the gates and not let anyone else on Capitol grounds. "Do not push" some people chant.

(C and 3rd Street NW) -- 7 a.m.
A huge roar goes up and the crowd begins chanting Obama! Obama! Rumor works through the mass that Obama is here! Alas, the crowd comes to their senses and reverts back to complaining about the cold.

(C and 3rd Street NW) -- 6:45 am
As marines and police prepare to let thousands through the gates to the Capitol, a chant began "Do not push" as many fear being crushed. "Oh God, this could be trouble," said Shirley Lance, 42, of Detroit.

-- Lori Aratani, Keith L. Alexander, Anna Uhls and David Fahrenthold

By Washington Post Editors  |  January 20, 2009; 9:08 AM ET
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Not the most professional behavior by those cops.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | January 20, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I concur C1 nw may need to sit down for a while and relax. These people are here to witness a historic moment in history. The last thing we need is a self perpetuated riot from our own staff.

Posted by: max1mos111 | January 20, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

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