July 3, 2012
WASHINGTON — Secret Service agents shut down a protest outside the White House on Monday where about 30 young protesters demanded President Barack Obama fire Attorney General Eric Holder.
Agents on scene claimed a backpack abandoned on a sidewalk was a “suspicious package,” closing the Pennsylvania Avenue pedestrian mall in front of the White House, and the adjoining Lafayette Park, from protesters and tourists. All pedestrian traffic, including media, was forced to retreat to side streets.
Officers roped the streets off with bright yellow crime scene tape and brought in bomb-sniffing K-9 dogs.
After waiting on the sidewalk behind the police line for about half an hour, a middle-aged woman came forward to claim the backpack, telling agents that she had put her small bag on the ground so she could take a photograph with her family. She declined to be interviewed.
The protesters had a National Park Service protest permit from 10 a.m. to noon. Agents began clearing the crowd at 10:43 a.m., giving little information to protesters and tourists as they forced them out of the area.
This article was posted: Tuesday, July 3, 2012 at 1:54 am