Video shows Texas House sergeant looking to arrest lawmaker who left state

AUSTIN, Texas (KTRK) -- After Texas House Republicans approved an arrest warrant to bring House Democrats who fled the state back to the statehouse for the special session, a representative shared the moment a House sergeant appeared in her office along with a DPS Trooper.

On Tuesday, Republicans were able to approve a measure to compel lawmakers to return to Austin. The arrest warrant tells the sergeant at arms and Texas Department of Public Safety to arrest state representatives who broke quorum and bring them back.

Later that afternoon, Rep. Shawn Thierry posted a video on Twitter shared by her staff showing the sergeant and the trooper entering her office looking to arrest her.

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"The House has authorized me to locate absent members and let them know to meet them on the floor so we can conduct business. Is your member here today?" the sergeant is heard asking.



Thierry was the last representative to arrive in Washington D.C. since she was unable to leave with the large group on Monday.

"I just needed a few more hours to arrange my childcare for my daughter and talk to my family," Thierry said.

When she wasn't seen in pictures of the group on the plane on Monday, she believes Republican leaders figured she was in her Austin office and sent DPS looking for her, threatening to arrest her.

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"The video is of my staff in the office being asked about my whereabouts and also of them being informed that I would be apprehended and taken to the locked House chamber," Thierry wrote on Twitter. "Fortunately, I was on a plane headed to fight for my district and was not in Texas."

Since Democrats left the state, they can't be arrested until they return to Austin. Not all Democrats left.

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Four of them returned to the chamber Tuesday, including State Rep. Eddie Morales. He told ABC13 that some of them remained behind to make sure integrity was kept in the House.

Even still, the remaining Democrats are being kept in the chamber under lock and key. Morales explained members needed permission to leave for anything, including using the restroom or going to eat.

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Republicans attempted to remove Democrats from leadership roles, including chairman and pro-tem positions, but stopped the measure after realizing removing lawmakers from leadership roles is against the rules adopted by the House.

Another change Tuesday: keys were missing from the chamber desks of those who left. Democrats asked the clerk to remove the keys so no votes could be cast.

The House is at a standstill. Lawmakers cannot debate bills in the chamber, nor hold committee hearings.

The House is at ease, but the Senate is business as usual. Democrats returned to the Senate Tuesday morning. Lawmakers expect to vote on Senate Bill 1, which is the election integrity bill Tuesday afternoon.

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