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Two arrested after demonstration in Waterloo turns to vandalism

Police in riot gear form a line during a brief standoff with demonstrators in Lincoln Park early Tuesday, June 2. (Source: Jeff Reinitz, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier)
Police in riot gear form a line during a brief standoff with demonstrators in Lincoln Park early Tuesday, June 2. (Source: Jeff Reinitz, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier)(Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier)
Published: Jun. 2, 2020 at 9:35 AM CDT
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WATERLOO, Iowa (Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier) - Protests in Waterloo took a turn early Tuesday when a demonstrator began smashing a car windshield behind City Hall.

The vandalism came around 2 a.m. after protesters, who had gathered at Lincoln Park, marched through the streets and ultimately stopped in the back parking lot at the municipal building, which also houses the police station.

After a few minutes of the crowd chanting “no justice, no peace,” a single demonstrator struck the windshield of a city vehicle parked on the lot. Within moments, a squad pulled into the lot, officers exited and began chasing the suspect and others who fled back toward Lincoln Park.

A brief showdown at the park ensued with police in helmets and riot gear forming a shield wall, and demonstrators hurling ice and plastic water bottles. The crowd broke into smaller groups and walked off in different directions, taunting officers.

At least two people were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct after failing to disperse as officers followed the groups into the downtown area.

Minor fires plagued the city during the night.

Two parked cars in a dealership overflow lot at South and West Seventh streets caught fire only hours apart. The second fire --- which started shortly before 3 a.m. --- also damaged vehicles parked nearby. A short-lived fire was reported in Washington Park.

A table umbrella outside Newton’s Paradise Café, only blocks from Lincoln Park, was ignited and burned onto the table before it was extinguished by patrol officers.

Molotov cocktails in Corona beer bottles were tossed at the Dollar General Store on West Fifth Street and launched into the roadway on Broadway Street, according to officials at Waterloo Fire Rescue. No actual damage was reported from the firebombs.

Big box stores in the Crossroads area closed early Monday and took extra precautions in the wake of violent protests elsewhere in the nation.

Target barricaded its entryways with shopping carts, Walmart stacked pallets in front its entrances. Dick’s Sporting Goods went with plywood.

See the full story on the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier’s website.

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