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VIDEO: Did Asm. Cristina Garcia Illegally Pull Fire Alarm to Ward Off Peaceful Demonstrators?


BY BRIAN HEWS • May 16, 2020

An incident that was caught on video at Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia’s office April 27, which is located in the high-rent district of Downtown Downey across from the famous Portos Bakery, could land the controversial Assemblywoman in legal jeopardy for violating state laws.

A group of citizens concerned about the efforts to privatize Central Basin Municipal Water District, which has been well documented by this newspaper, were seen on video entering Garcia’s office April 27 asking for an audience with the Assemblywoman, who was apparently present inside her back office.

After politely asked the staffer if they could talk to the Assemblywoman, the staffer could be seen going towards Garcia’s back office.

Just seconds after the staffer presumably entered Garcia’s office, the building fire alarm sounded, which was so loud that the citizens had to speak up to be heard on the video.

The stunned group of citizens could be heard saying “García pulled the fire alarm.”

As the videographer left the lobby, flashing alert lights could be seen in the main lobby of the building, which indicated a building-wide fire alarm alert.

The alarm blasted for almost a minute and shut off, but the directional flashing lights remained on. As the citizens asked several times where Assemblywoman Garcia was, the alarm went off and on intermittently, in an almost interrupting manner.

Interestingly, the alarm did not seem to bother the Garcia staffers, as they were seen on video calmly going about their business in the office.

It was not until the group left Garcia’s lobby that the alarm completely shut off.

The group then tried to speak to Garcia’s district director but were unsuccessful. As they turned to leave, they were confronted by several Downey police officers in riot gear.

The DPD menacingly assumed defensive positions at which time the citizens turned, told the officers to have a nice day, and left the building.

California Penal Code 148.4 makes false fire alarms against the law. According to this law, anyone who sets off a false fire alarm is guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony.

The California courts will only find a person guilty if they commit these acts “willfully and maliciously.”

It will certainly appear to most who examine the video that the timing of the alarm going off was highly suspect, as were the intermittent alarms.

And even though the Downey Police showed up in riot gear, a public records request by HMG-LCCN revealed that the Downey Fire Department was not called out to the building that day.