UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Federal Defendant's Statement of Facts
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
William Thomas, et. al. |
Plaintiffs pro se, |
v. | C.A. No. 95-1018
| Judge Charles R. Richey
The United States, et. al. |
FEDERAL DEFENDANTS' STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS
AS TO WHICH THERE EXISTS NO GENUINE ISSUE
Federal Defendants hereby submit, pursuant to Local Rule
108(h), a statement of material facts as to which there exists no
1. On September 12, 1994, at 1:49 a.m., a small airplane
crashed onto the South Lawn of the White House, killing the piolet
but injuring on one else. This action prompted then-secretary of
the Treasury Lloyd Bentsen to order "a 'thorough and
comprehensive' investigation into the circumstances leading to the
plane crash," and to examine "the feasibility of techniques and
measures . . . to safeguard the White House Complex and protectees
therein from air and ground assaults . . . ." Background
Information on the White House Security Review [Background
Information Report], attached as Exhibit B, at 1, 3.
2. A White House Security Review [the Review] was
established with a Mission Charter, with instructions to conduct
an exhaustive inquiry. Id. at 2, 7.
3. Shortly after the Review was created, the White House
experienced another serious threat. Francisco Martin Duran
positioned himself in front of the White House and fired twenty-
nine rounds from a semi-automatic assault rifle into the White
House; eleven bullets struck the White House, including one which
penetrated a window in the Press Briefing Room in the West Wing.
Id. at 2.
4. Subsequently, four additional incidents were reported
during the pendency of the Review, although none posed a serious
threat to the President. Exh. B at 3-4.
5. The Review interviewed and received briefings from over
250 individuals from various agencies and organizations and
examined over 1OOO documents. Id. at 22. The Review also met with
groups concerned about public access and consulted with noted
architects and urban planners. Id. at 23. At the conclusion, The
Review produced a classified Report of over 500 pages, with an
appendix of 260 pages. The Report is classified in its entirety
at the Top Secret level, and it includes a detailed discussion
and analysis of the incidents reviewed, air security and ground
security at the White House, and it concludes with eleven major
recommendations. [l2] Id. at 25.
6. One of the recommendations concerned vehicular traffic
around the White House Complex. In particular, the Review found
[a]fter careful consideration of the information that has
been provided, the Review is not able to identify any
alternative to prohibiting vehicular traffic on
Pennsylvania Avenue that would ensure the protection of the
President and others in the White House Complex from
explosive devices carried by vehicles near the perimeter.
Id. at 45. The Review also recommended, based on the same
reasoning, that vehicular traffic on State Place and the portion
of South Executive Avenue that connects into State Place also be
7. Based on the Review's recommendation, and pursuant to
[12 While the Review acknowledged that it could not make
public the details of many of its findings, the Treasury
Department made every effort to assure the thoroughness and
objectivity of the Review. See Exh. B at 7.]
statutory authority, on May 19, 1995, Secretary of Treasury
Robert E. Rubin ordered that:
"The Director, United States Secret Service, is
directed to close to vehicular traffic the following
streets in order to secure the perimeter of the White
House: (i) The Segment of Pennsylvania Avenue,
Northwest, in front of the White House between Madison
Place, Northwest, and 17th Street, Northwest, and (ii)
State Place, Northwest, and the segment of South
Executive Avenue, Northwest, that connects into State
Place, Northwest." Defts' Facts, para. 7.
60 Fed. Reg. 28435 (May 31, 1995), copy attached as Exhibit C.
Id. On May 20, 1995, the foregoing streets were closed. 60
Fed. Reg. 27882 (May 26, 1995), copy attached as Exhibit D.
8. On May 26, 1995, the Secret Service published a Final
Rule, explaining that the Secret Service had restricted access to
the streets at issue based on the Review's recommendation
contained in the Classified Report. Exh. D. The Director of the
Secret Service found that the street restrictions were necessary
to provide appropriate protection for the President, the First
Family and those working in or visiting the White House Complex.
The Director also noted that this urgency had been accelerated by
recent events, including the bombing of a federal building in
Oklahoma City. Finding the rule involves a matter relating to
public property, the Director concluded that the APA's notice and
comment procedures and delayed effective date were not required.
Nevertheless, even if such procedures could be found to apply,
the Director concluded that notice and public comment procedures
for the rule would be "impracticable and contrary to the public
interest because any delay in this action will result in an
unacceptably high risk of danger to the President, the First
Family, and others in the White House Complex." Exh. D, 60 Fed.
Reg. at 27885.
9. Plaintiff is an individual who alleged, has since 1981
"devoted his life to regularly communicate with the general
public on issues of broad concern, in Lafayette Park." Amended
Complaint at 2.
10. In the afternoon of May 26, 1995, plaintiff placed a
structure containing a sign and a seat in the restricted section
of Pennsylvania Avenue. He was approached by defendant D.C.
Police Captain Michael Radzilowski, who informed him that he
would have to remove his structure from the street. When
plaintiff refused to do so, Captain Radzilowski ordered him to
remove his structure. Plaintiff again refused and was arrested
and charged with failure to obey a police officer. Amended
Complaint, ¶¶ 22-34.
ERIC H. HOLDER, JR.,
D.C. BAR #303115
United States Attorney
MARINA UTGOFF BRASWELL,
D.C. BAR #416587
Assistant United States Attorney