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UPDATE: Capitol Police offer explanation
Reports of alleged discrimination on the ground are unfolding in Washington, D.C., today, as two separate political events take place. And now angst is raging after Capitol Hill Police Officer Sandra Brown allegedly left a voicemail for one of the directors of the "Audit the IRS" event, saying attendees from one event were not allowed at the other.
The message was apparently left for Kevin Mooneyhan, deputy executive director of Tea Party Patriots -- which is putting on the day's IRS rally.
"It's 9:28 a.m., June 19. There are members of your group that are moving into other areas on the capitol grounds, joining other groups on the east front of the capitol. That activity is not authorized," the person who identified herself as Officer Brown can be heard saying in a recorded voice message forwarded to TheBlaze.
"Your area is the west front of the capitol. Have either yourself and our 12 marshals keep your group in your area and your area only. You cannot join other groups in other areas that have been permitted to other groups," the message continues.
Listen to the call, below:
The voicemail, purportedly left by Brown, notes that authorities will be on the ground to keep the peace. Prior to the message's release, reports were already raging that activists who are in D.C to attend the "Audit the IRS" rally were being prevented from also heading over to an immigration press conference also taking place nearby.
TheBlaze spoke briefly with Brown via phone to ask about the message, but she quickly forwarded us to the Capitol Police media office without comment, where we left a message for a representative to explain the meaning of her words.
The rallies are occurring in separate areas of the city, with the IRS rally taking place at 12pm ET on the west side and the immigration event, hosted by Rep. Steve King and Rep. Louie Gohmert (both Republicans), unfolding on the east side.
Radio and television host Glenn Beck also tweeted about the division on the ground, writing, "Already discrimination. Splitting us up into two groups on different sides of Capitol. MLK would not stand for this. No sense."
Still, two Blaze reporters attending the events indicated that they encountered no problems moving between the two. It's unclear how the police were identifying attendees of either event.
The immigration press conference was slated from 9am-12pm ET, and again from 2pm-5pm ET. The Tea Party rally was scheduled from 12pm-2pm ET.
Considering the immigration press conference is set to start up again, the issue could come up again later this afternoon.
UPDATE: In a phone call with Capitol Hill Police, spokesperson Shennell Antrobus told TheBlaze that he had not yet heard the voicemail. But based on its description, he said that it seemed as though there was a safety issue to have too many people show up and migrate to a separate event.
With each permit having an expected number of attendance, movements between events can sometimes be problematic on the space and safety front, Antrobus explained (especially if they exceed expected numbers). He was clear that opinion or content of specific meetings would not be at the heart of trying to prevent such migrations.
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