No, photo doesn’t show Congressman Bowman being arrested for pulling U.S. Capitol fire alarm

By: Soham Shah
October 9 2023

Share Article: facebook logo twitter logo linkedin logo
No, photo doesn’t show Congressman Bowman being arrested for pulling U.S. Capitol fire alarm

Posts sharing an old photo of Jamaal Bowman (Source: X, Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The photo being circulated is from January 2022, when Bowman was arrested for protesting at the U.S. Capitol building.

Claim ID c0bcdb6a

On September 30, 2023, United States Representative Jamaal Bowman pulled a fire alarm in the U.S. Capitol Building while rushing for a vote to pass a bill to fund and keep the government open for 45 days. Many Republicans like ex-speaker of the house Kevin McCarthy demanded that Bowman should be punished or arrested. The incident is currently under investigation by the Capitol police and the House Administration Committee.

In a statement about the incident, Bowman said, “Today, as I was rushing to make a vote, I came to a door that is usually open for votes but today would not open," he said Saturday night. "I am embarrassed to admit that I activated the fire alarm, mistakenly thinking it would open the door. I regret this and sincerely apologize for any confusion this caused. But I want to be very clear, this was not me, in any way, trying to delay any vote. It was the exact opposite — I was trying urgently to get to a vote, which I ultimately did, and joined my colleagues in a bipartisan effort to keep our government open.”

What is the claim?

A post shared on X (formerly Twitter) on October 1, 2023, claims that “Democrat Congressman Jamaal Bowman has been ARRESTED by capitol police for pulling a fire alarm in the capitol in a desperate effort to delay the House CR vote to keep the government open.” Archive links of the posts can be accessed here and here.

Posts sharing an old photo of Jamaal Bowman. (Source: X, Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, this photo is from 2022 and Bowman was not arrested recently over the fire alarm-pulling incident in the U.S. Capitol.

What is the truth?
We found no news reports from reputable organizations regarding Bowman being arrested over the incident. 

A reverse image search led us to the original source of the image. Bowman had been arrested during a voting rights protest at the U.S. Capitol building after Democrats failed to change Senate rules to pass voting rights legislation before the 2022 midterm elections. Bowman was released the same day in the afternoon, according to his office, reported USA Today. The image was posted by numerous news organizations, including in a report by The Riverdale Press on January 20, 2022, proving the photo is old. 

Photo published in a report by The Riverdale Press in January 2022 (Source: The Riverdale Press/Screenshot)

A Washington Post report from January 21, 2022, has a photo of Bowman’s arrest from a different angle, and MSNBC posted a video of the arrest taking place on January 22, 2022. Both show Bowman in the same outfit while being arrested, and the same people in a white jacket and a maroon jacket can be seen standing behind him.

Photo by Washington Post (L) and screenshot of video by MSNBC (R) (Source: The Washington Post/MSNBC/Screenshots/Modified by Logically Facts)

The verdict
The photo being circulated is from January 2022, and while the incident is under investigation, Bowman has not been arrested. 

Would you like to submit a claim to fact-check or contact our editorial team?

Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before