The Washington Post

Police conduct Occupy D.C. checks at Freedom Plaza

View Photo Gallery: Some demonstrators are refusing to leave Freedom Plaza and McPherson Square, as Park Police begin to enforce no-camping rules.

Following Saturday’s sweep of the Occupy DC encampment at McPherson Square, U.S. Park Police on Sunday began conducting another compliance check of protesters at nearby Freedom Plaza.

Police say they are looking for the same types of regulation violations they discovered on Saturday: Evidence of overnight camping and possible biohazards. A Park Police spokesman confirmed Sunday that 11 arrests were made at McPherson Square during operations on Saturday.

Police say they are expecting fewer arrests at Freedom Plaza and expected to find better compliance with rules for the ongoing protest. An initial sweep just before noon yielded fewer than 10 tents that had potential violations. One man was arrested Sunday afternoon for allegedly threatening an officer.

Occupy members urged protesters to follow the rules, and a Park Police officer told the group that “peace and safety” were the top priorities.

Police have barricaded off the camping areas, and environmental service workers are bagging bedding and clothing.

“This is not an eviction,” said Sgt. David Schlosser, a spokesman for the Park Police. “We want to respect their first amendment rights.”

At McPherson Square, the streets surrounding it and the exit to the nearby Metro station reopened Sunday afternoon. National Park Service workers remained on the scene clearing debris.


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