White House locked down after smoke bomb

2012-01-18 07:13

Washington - The White House was locked down for more than an hour on Tuesday night as authorities investigated what appeared to be a smoke bomb tossed over the fence of the executive compound, a secret service spokesperson said.

The device was thrown over the fence at one point when about 1 000 to 1 500 "Occupy DC" protesters were demonstrating outside the White House, spokesperson George Ogilvie said.

He gave the "all clear" later in the evening.

A majority of the protesters had left the area earlier and there had been no arrests, he said.

Obamas out to dinner

President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, went out to dinner to celebrate her birthday and were not at the White House when the incident began, but returned while the investigation was under way.

Members of the White House press pool were prevented from leaving for about 45 minutes before they were escorted off the grounds. Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House was also closed during the investigation.

Demonstrators from the Occupy movement marched to the White House after earlier converging at the US Capitol and congressional office buildings to protest against the influence of money on lawmakers.

Several hundred demonstrators, some from as far as Nevada and San Diego, staged rallies and attempts to meet lawmakers as they returned from a holiday break. One demonstrator was arrested for assaulting a police officer and three others for crossing a police line, a Capitol Police spokesperson said.

The Occupy movement burst on the national scene in September in New York with its focus on income inequality in the United States.

  • Squeegee - 2012-01-18 07:23

    That's about as dunb as it gets. They will find the guy and he will be charged with a serious offence. Jail time. Look at what happened to the guy who took a potshot at the White House.

      Barry - 2012-01-18 07:53

      I think it shows not all is well in the "land of the free" This protest organization, small as it is keeps, popping up in the news.

  • Cameronl - 2012-01-18 08:18

    OH NO put the country on DEFCON 4 (or whatever it is they do when someone farts near the whitehouse)

      kellyc04 - 2012-01-18 09:42

      It's called protocol and protection. I'm American, and sorry you aren't familiar with those terms here in SA... regardless how beautiful this country is. Joke all you want.

      Cameronl - 2012-01-18 10:03

      I humbly apologise Kelly, I blame my shoddy shameless comment on my twisted warped sense of humour :) I've been to the states and I love it there, its a trully beautiful country and your country men are great people :) As for Mr.moron with a smoke bomb, dude your a ss is grass china bean.... soreee for you, enjoy the prison food :)

      Barry - 2012-01-18 13:09

      @Cameronl It is a pity you cannot go and live there as the US have enough stupid people living there already.

      GrootWitHaai - 2012-01-18 13:16

      Aw shamikins, Barry (not real name)is trying so hard to find something anti-American to say.

  • Lana - 2012-01-18 08:38

    If you want to protest - don't do dumb stuff. Yes I know it was only a smoke bomb, and here comes the BUT... what if it was not a smoke bomb? Next time it might not be, people can not go running around putting every law enforcer on high alert everytime there is a march or gathering close to a key point. There should be no marches or mass gaterings at key points in the first place. That is why a false bomb treat is just as serious as a real bomb threat and people get prosecuted for it as they should.

  • paul.maarman - 2012-01-18 08:41

    ...standard operating procedure for the Secret Service, - lock down occurs, when there has been a breach in security, whether POTUS is in the White House or not. -

  • Sagren - 2012-01-18 08:49


      david.lebethe - 2012-01-18 09:09

      Here comes along another drunkard! Do you think the white racist government was running the country better? If you do not know, I carried a dompas everywhere I went and risked arbitary arrest from police if I didn't have it with. My liberties, just like whites then, are now recognised and feel free from arbitrary conduct by the state. There are so many bad things the white racists government and its supporters have done to black people and for the sake of reconciliation, we are asked not to refer to but your conduct and so is that of most whites in this country is undermining every efforts to reconcile. I would nopt be surprised though to find that those in the forefront of such actions are ex Rhodesians (Selous Scots) who have come over to polute our air.

      Cameronl - 2012-01-18 09:13

      sagren, you just summed it all up perfectly, and sadly all of it is true, makes me sick. Although on a brighter side I was pulled over for speeding last week, the cop didnt try to get a bribe out of me, he actually did his job, I can say this, I commended him on being honest and doing his job properly, and gladly accepted my hefty fine (I was wrong, I dont mind paying), It gave a me hope that there still are honest cops out there. just thought I'd say something nice for a change :)

      Cameronl - 2012-01-18 09:49

      and you are commenting on what we wrote and not on the article at hand.... hahaha

      Cameronl - 2012-01-18 10:10

      To our dear friend MR.david.lebethe It is becoming clear to me from reading this and previous comments of yours that it is you my dear friend that seems to be harbouring deeply seeded racial hatred for the white baas-ted, I suggest you seek counseling my 'friend' perhaps after that you will see that it is the anc you should be focusing your hatred upon as it is they who are doing a fantastic job of making life hard for all the peoples that make up this rainbow nation (in case you dont get me, I'm saying life is hard for the colours of the rainbow thanks to those morons in government)

      Graziella - 2012-01-18 10:21

      @SAGREN Putting extended text in all-caps does NOT help you make your point. You just come off as desperately "shouting."

  • david.lebethe - 2012-01-18 11:08

    @ Cameron. I am happy that you have, at least been keeping tract with my comments on this forum. But above it all, I am concerned that I have a white fan. However, I am not entirely concerned whether you like me or not. Instead I would most worried to wake up and find whites like me. It would imply that there is something wrong am doing. Hence, most people (read blacks) are suspicious when one of them frequents the office from time-to-time. In the light thereof, I find it condescending for you to turn around and tell me that I need help when the whole forum stinks of racism from your people? In fact, you have a nerve to say am racist when racism is an attitude of mind by those who regard themselves superior over others on the basis of colour of their skin. In view thereof, you are therefore wrong that am racist and need help. Black people are uncapable of being racists. It would therefore be in your best interest to tell your people to behave. In fact, you have a duty towards them too stop with their conduct.

      Sagren - 2012-01-19 10:45


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