NY Democrat Rep. Bowman arrested in front of the Capitol in election reform protest

The protest occurred one day after Senate Democrats failed to reform the filibuster and pass the election reform package

Updated: January 21, 2022 - 9:37am

New York Democratic Jamaal Bowman was arrested Thursday alongside more than two-dozen other protesters at the U.S. Capitol as they demanded the Senate alter its 60-vote legislative filibuster pass key tenets of the lawmaker's political party.

A Bowman spokesperson said the first-term congressman took part in a "voting rights non-violent direct action at the North Barricade of the U.S. Capitol Building and was arrested by the U.S. Capitol Police." 

Police at the U.S. Capitol said they had repeatedly warned protesters not to block the barricade g before they began making arrests.

Such arrests of Capitol Hill lawmaker over politically charged issues are largely symbolic and often pre-planned with law enforcement to avoid injuries or other related consequences.

Capitol Police force tweeted about the incident" "Just before 12:00 pm, demonstrators started blocking one side of the North Barricade outside the U.S. Capitol. We have already issued them three warnings. The demonstrators refused to move out of the driveway, so we are making arrests," they wrote.

Bowman – whose district includes the north Bronx, Yonkers, and parts of Westchester – along with most members of the crowd, were charged with "Crowding, Obstructing or Incommoding."

The protest occurred one day after Senate Democratic leadership's attempt to alter the legislative filibuster's 60-vote threshold failed.

Democratic lawmakers had been attempting to pass an elections overhaul bill that politicians claim would increase access to the election process, especially aiding those in disenfranchised communities.

Republicans on the other hand have uniformly criticized the voting rights package as a power grab meant to federalize the election process and place even more control in the hands of Washington, D.C., politicians.