Capitol Police Issues Latest Update on Bowman Fire Alarm Controversy

Rashi Varshney
By Rashi Varshney
October 3, 2023Congress
Capitol Police Issues Latest Update on Bowman Fire Alarm Controversy
Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) speaks outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington on April 27, 2023. (Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

The U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) has issued an update on Rep. Jamaal Bowman’s (D-N.Y.) recent fire alarm incident, saying that it is still investigating the facts and circumstances surrounding the activation of a fire alarm that resulted in the evacuation of the Cannon House Office Building.

On Sept. 30 ahead of a House vote on a government funding bill, Mr. Bowman pulled the fire alarm on a door at the Cannon House Office while his fellow Democrats were attempting to postpone the vote during the House proceedings. The matter was taken up for an investigation the same day.

At approximately 12:05 p.m. on Sept. 30, a fire alarm sounded inside the Cannon Building, the USCP said in its latest statement on Monday. It added that USCP officers evacuated people from the building, floor by floor, and that the fire alarm only sounded in that building.

The statement, however, does not name Mr. Bowman, and read that, “on security video, a man was seen trying to exit the door in the Cannon Building and then pulling the fire alarm that prompted the evacuation.”

However, shortly after the incident, Mr. Bowman admitted to activating the alarm. However, he denied any intention to delay the vote, explaining that he mistakenly thought the pull-down trigger in the fire alarm box would open the door. He explained that he was in a panic to return to the floor for the vote.

The USCP in its statement on Monday said that it will share further updates on the status of the investigation as it continues.

Calls for Expulsion

The incident has sparked a major controversy, drawing criticism from numerous New York Republicans who have questioned Mr. Bowman’s actions.

Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.) on Sunday said, “This is the United States Congress, not a New York City high school and that this action warrants expulsion.” Earlier, she commented in another social media post that, “Of all people, a high school principal knows what a fire alarm does. No one is buying the excuses & he must be held accountable!” She was referring to Mr. Bowman’s former role as a Bronx middle school principal.

On Monday, she formally introduced a resolution, backed by 12 other Republicans, to expel Mr. Bowman, a member of the progressive far-left Squad caucus, from the chamber.

In response, the office of Mr. Bowman said that Republicans need to instead focus their energy on the “Nazi” members of their party before anything else. However, this was condemned by Mr. Bowman himself. He wrote in a social media post on Tuesday that, “I just became aware that in our messaging guidance, there was inappropriate use of the term Nazi without my consent. I condemn the use of the term Nazi out of its precise definition. It is important to specify the term Nazi to refer to members of the Nazi party & neo-Nazis.”

Recently, former President Donald Trump joined in the calls to hold Mr. Bowman accountable for disrupting Congress, describing the fire alarm incident as “a very dangerous ‘Obstruction of an Official Proceeding,’ the same as used against our J-6 prisoners.”

NTD Photo
Former President Donald Trump speaks to the media after exiting the courtroom for a lunch recess during the first day of his civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court in New York City on Oct. 2, 2023. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

“Obstruction of an Official Proceeding” is the same charge that dozens face in connection with their unlawful acts upon illegally entering a restricted government area on Jan. 6, 2021. At that time, the joint session of Congress was temporarily interrupted when a sizable group of protesters broke into the Capitol building.

In the District of Columbia, the act of creating a false alarm is a misdemeanor that carries up to six months in jail.

From The Epoch Times

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