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If It's Crowd Size You Want, Park Service Says Count It Out; Congress Told Agency to Stop, Official Says
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post (pre-1997 Fulltext) - Washington, D.C.
Author: Smith, Leef||||||Melillo, Wendy
Date: Oct 13, 1996
Start Page: A.34
Section: A SECTION

U.S. Park Police declined to estimate the turnout for yesterday's Latino March, saying they have been ordered by Congress to get out of the controversial business of counting crowds gathered on the Mall.

The issue came to a boil after last year's Million Man March, when Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan threatened to sue the Park Police to force a revision of a crowd estimate of 400,000 for the gathering.

In the 1997 appropriations bill for the Department of the Interior, Congress included language that prohibits the National Park Service from conducting crowd estimates, said David Barna, chief of public affairs for the Park Service. The legislation also states that if event organizers want crowd estimates, they should contract with an outside agency, Barna said.

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