A police officer was killed and a second one was injured when a driver crashed through security barriers at the U.S. Capitol just after 1 p.m. EDT on April 2, 2021, resulting in a lockdown at the Capitol.
During a news conference, U.S. Capitol Police Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman said the car rammed the two officers at what police call the north barrier, located at Delaware and Constitution avenues, then the driver got out and lunged at officers with a knife in his hand. Pittman said the man didn’t comply with police commands and was fatally shot.
BREAKING: Acting U.S. Capitol Police chief on Capitol incident: "It is with a very, very heavy heart that I announce one of our officers has succumbed to his injuries." https://t.co/oct9CmdItF pic.twitter.com/gB3rq0IHW6
— ABC News (@ABC) April 2, 2021
Photographs from the scene showed the car had rammed through a black perimeter fence erected as a security measure after the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The car came to a stop against a white barricade that blocks off the road:
AP source: Driver who rammed a car into 2 police officers outside US Capitol has died after being shot by authorities. https://t.co/9PW0Yk10nt
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 2, 2021
The incident sparked an online backlash against U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia, who just two weeks prior had posted a photograph of herself posing next to a black fence outside of the Capitol with a sign mocking both the added security and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The sign read “Welcome to Fort Pelosi”:
It's time for this wall around the Capitol to come down! pic.twitter.com/7Gcu381702
— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) March 19, 2021
The picture is real and, as of this writing, the tweet containing it is currently live on Greene’s Twitter timeline. A street sign visible on the right side of the picture indicates she was standing on Independence Avenue, which is on the south side of the Capitol building (opposite of where the April 2 incident occurred).
It’s unclear to us whether Greene put the sign up herself or if someone else did.
Whether the extra fencing around the Capitol was needed after the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection has been a point of controversy in Washington, D.C. And despite Greene’s sign, the fencing is under the purview of U.S. Capitol Police, not Pelosi, and was erected by law enforcement and the military.
On March 24, Capitol Police announced that an outer perimeter topped by concertina wire had been taken down, but an inner perimeter fence immediately around the Capitol building was still in place.
This was not the first time Greene has spurred controversy. She ran unopposed in the 2020 election and drew immediate criticism for her record of support for various conspiracy theories, including Qanon.
Greene also helped promote former U.S. President Donald Trump’s disinformation campaign in which he falsely claimed that mass-scale fraud cost him the November 2020 election.
The false election fraud claims incited Trump supporters to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6 in an attack that resulted in the deaths of five people, including a Capitol police officer. Two other Capitol police officers who responded that day took their own lives after the fact. About 140 officers from the Capitol force and D.C. Metropolitan Police Department were injured, some seriously.