Capitol Police Investigating After Fire Alarm Incident

Capitol Police Investigating After Fire Alarm Incident

( – On Saturday, September 30, the House gathered to vote on a stop-gap measure that would keep the government temporarily funded until it could pass the appropriations bills. However, the fire alarm sounded, and the building was evacuated. Due to the timing, many thought it was an attempt to delay the vote. Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) was reportedly at fault, and now the United States Capitol Police (USCP) are investigating the incident.

In a statement on X, formerly Twitter, Bowman took responsibility for the incident on Saturday. He said that he had no intention of delaying the vote. Rather, he “was trying urgently to get to a vote” to pass the temporary measure. He said he made the mistake of thinking that the door — which he says was once open for people to enter the chambers — would open if he sounded the alarm. Once Bowman was done, he met with authorities, including the Capitol Police and the Sergeant at Arms, to explain his situation.

The USCP released a short statement noting that at around 12:05 p.m. on Saturday, a fire alarm went off in the Cannon Building, which was then evacuated. The press release states that a man — they didn’t identify Bowman — is seen on security footage trying to exit a door in the building and then pulling the handle to set the alarm off.

The USCP noted that the door was clearly “marked as an emergency exit only,” with signs all around. The fire marshal gave the all-clear at 1:30, and the building occupants returned. The same day, then-Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), said the House Ethics Committee should open a probe into Bowman. The USCP investigation is ongoing.

Despite Bowman triggering an evacuation in the adjacent building, the House was successful in its efforts. With a narrow margin, it passed the temporary funding bill that will keep the government running through November 17.

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