D.C. park police crowd estimates

The hot blog topic of the moment is over the size of the crowds at yesterday’s “9/12” Washington rallies critical of the Obama administration’s direction. As we noted back in 2004, U.S. National Park police, who are in charge of the Mall and related public spaces, used to estimate crowd sizes, but when their assessment of attendance at the Million Man March differed from that of march organizers, the organizers threatened to sue. So park police stopped putting out crowd estimates, which now seem to be left to the probably less expert D.C. fire department. Don’t we all feel better informed now?


  • What would be the basis for the suit? The closest thing I can think of is defamation, but that seems pretty weak since a somewhat lower estimate of the number of people at a demonstration is not really pejorative.

  • I suppose the basis for the suit would have been racism. No? Isn’t that always the claim when liberal black racists don’t get their way?

    I did some research tonight and found that the 1.8M estimate came from an un-named source, and I would assume, in light of the MMM controversy back in 1994, they would just rather go with that than be subject to that same kind of lawsuit, even though there are many sources and experts who would say the number was closer to half that.

    Do a search (I used Yahoo) and find the info yourself. I think the 1.8M estimate is bogus myself.

    As to the 912 Rally, I would like to hear some estimates, or at least see some satellite images like they had for the Inauguration. But the number of people in DC is probably not as big as the number of us who held Rallies in our own towns and cities. So I’d say, indeed, “we surround them”. đŸ˜‰

  • Saying that your afraid of a lawsuit reads much better than saying that you are afraid of the WHite House.

  • Yet if there were some credible evidence for the actual number of participants at the MMM, such as aerial photographs where actual heads could be enumerated, then perhaps we have the makings of a class action lawsuit. Every person that did attend the MMM participated with the expectation that they would be in a group at least 1 million strong. The few hundred thousand actually there were defrauded by the organizers, and suffered damages in lost political capital through poor numbers while incurring a hefty persona expense for travel and lodging.

  • JM@ “racism” isn’t a cause of action.

  • *** Saying that your afraid of a lawsuit reads much better than saying that you are afraid of the WHite House. ***

    Well, imbecile, they must have been afraid of the White House back in 2004 too then, since it was noted at that time.

    What an idiot.

  • In 2004 it was Farrakhan & Nation of Islam who threatened to sue the park police. It was not a protest and the White House had nothing to say about it.

  • A lot of people showed up for the Million Man March. It was a great success with regard to size of crowd. Mr. Farrikan’s fear that the racist power structure would under count the crowd just showed his foolishness. It is a shame that attempts to estimate crowds was abandoned because it plays to unjustified cynicism.

  • DC police may not release figures, may have been prohibited from spending money on “official” estimates, but as a professional law enforcement agency I am certain they keep as accurate and estimate as they can, an accurate estimate is needed for future planning. I know thay had to pay attention because some signs read “I am here unarmed– this time”. I would like to know what they know about the size of the crowd on 9-12-09, too bad they are constrained by politics.

  • The actual crowd size doesn’t matter, other than we would like to have a “feel” for how much of America is waking up. The simple truth is that THEY in DC notice how many people were there. That is the objective.

  • […] Overlawyered: D.C. park police crowd estimates […]

  • It is amazing how many people in this country have allowed themselves to be blinded by the Kool-Aid, such that they will deny their own eyes and ears… pretty sad. People who said they were there and then purport lies are either denying their own senses or living in an alternate reality.

    I was there for the entire March… it was one of the largest in DC. We had befriended the Capital Police and spoke to them all day. At 2:30 PM the Capital Police told me directly that they were being told we reached approximately 1.2 million by 1:00PM and that we far exceeded what the city had expected. They would periodically state that DC & the Metro were taken by surprise by such a massive crowd. In addition, they made comments about how this was one of the best crowds, especially given the numbers, and that they did not mind being out today. And yes, the police are now being constrained by politics, because we are not hearing any of this in the media… also very sad.

  • Get over it, both of you Left and Right wingers. A bird without either wing plus a good sound body can’t fly.
    Thank GOD sanity of the “Middle of the Roaders” keeps America in checks and balances when we are in trouble. And this; regardless of whom we elect to “mess up” our government.
    Extremist, irregardless of which side they are on, don’t consciously realize they are always on the verge of killing this goose that lays such beautiful golden eggs.
    I certainly don’t want to unexpectadly awake some morning and find an illegal alien standing over me with a stick, telling me what I can or cannot do.

  • Thank you for allowing me this comment.

  • I have done my own study base on a devised stationary methodology and calculation which you can find here.

    It’s backed by visual evidence (pictures and clips) all available in the same entry, plus determining the boundaries of the rally and calculation of the final tally derived from the density of the crowd at each given block. My calculus puts the figures around 130k up to 160k.