Suspicious powder at Iowa Statehouse identified as antacid
Brian O'Keefe, a Des Moines Fire Department spokesman, said on Thursday that tests determined the harmless identity of the substance. The building was locked down for four hours on Tuesday when a Democratic lawmaker opened the envelope, which also contained a threatening letter, Associated Press reports.
Representative Ako Abdul-Samad opened the letter on the Iowa House floor after it was hand delivered to him. State mail usually undergoes an eradication office before being distributed to the offices of the state.
"I just think it was a learning experience for us," Abdul-Samad said, according to the Des Moines Register. "It brought up a point how accessible we are as legislators and it's something we need to look at because we are up here serving the people. That's our job."
Leaders of the Iowa legislature said that they want to review Statehouse mail-handling and security procedures to ensure such an incident will not happen again. Kraig Paulson, the Iowa house speaker, said that lawmakers have yet to encounter such an incident and should develop procedures for similar situations in the future. Michael Gronstal, the senate majority leader, said that security officials must be brought into the planning process, according to the Des Moines Register.