Troopers clashed with Black Lives Matter protesters during a protest at the Iowa state Capitol on Thursday.
Footage appears to show protesters in face masks chanting and holding signs inside of the Capitol in Des Moines. State troopers were then seen clashing with the protesters. A tweet from Tisia F. Muzinga shows video from the scene, in which a woman is seen getting arrested by the troopers. One protester is heard shouting at the officers, saying, “Woah, woah, woah, what are you doing, bro?” as the officer appears to detain the woman. Protesters appear to grab at the handcuffs as the officer puts them on the women’s wrists, after which the woman is seen restrained on her front as the man who is filming yells, “She’s a f***ing kid, bro.” Four officers then escort the girl out of the building before putting her into the passenger seat of a cop car.
The calendar of the Iowa Department of Administrative Services showed that Black Lives Matter were holding a protest at the Capitol from 11 am to 6 pm on Thursday, according to The Sun. “We are gathering together to protest against the dangerous bills that are breezing through the State Legislature: SF497/SF534, SF479, SF476, HF802,” read the description of the event. They also gathered to demand Governor Kim Reynolds issue an executive order to restore voting rights to convicted felons who have served their sentences.
Police and protesters blamed each other for the incident. In all, at least 17 people were arrested. In a statement, Black Lives Matter Des Moines said that police “arrived and acted extremely aggressive toward protesters.” The police complaint of the incident, however, said that Matthew Bruce, who is a Black Lives Matter Des Moines organizer, was told to back up numerous times and interfered with officers’ ability to do their jobs. Bruce then pushed officers, according to the complaint.
Bruce was arrested and charged with interference with official acts and two counts of assaults on persons in certain occupations. He had already been arrested and released on a criminal mischief charge in connection to damage to a police vehicle at the Hy-Vee in Des Moines on June 20. Indira Sheumaker, who was wanted over the same June 20 incident, was another protester that police were seen leading out of the Capitol. According to the complaint, as officers attempted to arrest Bruce, Sheumaker jumped on the back of the officer, put him in a “rear choke hold,” and squeezed his throat.
A news release from police said that during the struggle, the officer’s gun became unholstered, according to the Des Moines Register. Des Moines police spokesman Sargeant Paul Parizek said that the officer, who recovered the weapon, did not know if a protester had grabbed it or if it had fallen out when he hit the ground. “That’s just above and beyond anything that’s acceptable and it really does take away from all the hard work of everyone who is invested in making things better,” said Parizek. He continued, saying, “You’ve seen the peaceful protests, the logic and reason. When someone has concerns there is a way to get that addressed without anybody getting arrested.”
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ARTICLE: CHLOE CHANDLER
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: THE SUN