The US House of Representatives has officially censured Representative Jamaal Bowman of New York for pulling a fire alarm in his office on October 16, 2020.
The incident occurred during a private meeting between Bowman and several constituents in his Washington, D.C. office. The alarm reportedly rang for over 10 minutes, until the Capitol Police managed to reset it.
Bowman, who was elected to Congress earlier that year, was given the rare punishment of being “censured” by the House, which is a formal rebuke.
In a statement, Bowman apologized for his actions, saying that he “did not realize the implications and consequences” of his actions at the time. He also said that he was aware that the alarm could have cause inconvenience, as well as fear and confusion among Capitol visitors.
The House voted 345-18 in favor of the censure, with most Democrats supporting the measure. Bowman had to vote to censure himself, and expressed remorse for his behavior in a statement after the vote.
“I take full responsibility for my actions, and I understand that it will have consequences. I am committed to learning from this experience and ensuring that it never happens again.”