New York’s Democratic Rep. Jamal Bowman has been accused by the DC attorney general of sounding the fire alarm. A home office building When there is no emergency.
Bowman was summoned to appear in DC Superior Court at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, when CongressA misdemeanor charge is filed, fingerprinted and processed.
Bowman’s office told CNN the congressman struck a deal with the DC attorney general to drop any charges within three months if he made a formal apology to the U.S. Capitol Police and paid a $1,000 fine for falsely pulling a fire alarm. The USCP said in a statement Wednesday that it had “concluded (its) investigation” into the incident.
“I am grateful for the District of Columbia Attorney General’s office’s swift resolution of this matter, and I am grateful for the U.S. Capitol Police’s Office of General Counsel’s acknowledgment that I did not obstruct or intend to obstruct any House vote or action,” Bowman said. A statement on Wednesday. “I am responsible for activating the fire alarm, I will pay the fines issued and I expect these charges will eventually be dropped.”
In late September, shortly before the House was scheduled to vote on a government funding bill, Bowman was caught in a fire alarm pulling tape at the Cannon House office building. The building was subsequently evacuated.
The Congressman said following the incident that it was an accident.
“I was trying to get to a door. I thought the alarm would open the door, and I accidentally pulled the fire alarm to open the door,” Bowman said at the time, adding: “I was trying to cast my vote, and the normally open door didn’t open. Opened, it closed.”
In an interview with a USCP officer after the incident, Bowman said he was “trying to get out of the building,” “pushing open a door and pulling the lever next to it, which should have been a warning.”
Bowman said the door was “a regular door that he uses” and that he did not want to cause security concerns or disrupt congressional proceedings, according to the affidavit written by the USCP official. The officer noted that several emergency exit signs were posted at the door.
“The defendant stated that the door was still not open and went to the first floor to exit,” the affidavit states.
Bowman told the officer that he had heard an alarm and that he “was in a hurry because the votes were being solicited and he didn’t want to miss the vote to fund the government,” according to the affidavit. He did not tell anyone what happened, despite passing several USCP officers immediately after the incident.
This story has been updated with additional details.
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