Law enforcement use flash bangs, tear gas during Iowa City protests
IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Demonstrators and law enforcement got into a confrontation along Dubuque Street in Iowa City near its interchange with Interstate 80 late Monday night.
Marchers had been progressing through various parts of the city since 6:00 p.m., with hundreds of people demonstrating after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. In spite of at least several people vandalizing buildings, sidewalks, and signs along the way, the march was predominantly peaceful.
Demonstrators approached the interchange at around 11:00 p.m. on Wednesday night. Law enforcement were lined up across Dubuque Street, and protesters also formed into a line and approached the officers while chanting “don’t shoot!” Officers gave directions to the demonstrators but they did not disperse, though there appeared to be no physical confrontation.
Law enforcement responded with flashbangs and what appeared to be tear gas. Demonstrators scattered but reformed a line across Dubuque Street.
Another confrontation occurred in the same place about 20 minutes after the first, with more flashbangs and apparent tear gas.
One person collapsed on the street and required medical attention from an ambulance. There was no indication of what caused the medical emergency.
A third deployment of flashbangs and apparent tear gas took place after the ambulance arrived. Demonstrators again scattered in response.
After the fourth confrontation with flashbangs and tear gas, the line of law enforcement officers advanced south on Dubuque Street at around 11:30 p.m.
Protesters again approached officers for a fifth time, resulting in another volley of flashbangs and tear gas. Protesters scattered again, with very few remaining after that confrontation.
A single person was seen kneeling in front of the line of law enforcement officers. He eventually stood up and walked backward away from the officers without further incident.
Most of the demonstrators left the area shortly before Midnight.
The Iowa Department of Transportation closed Interstate 80 in the Iowa City area as protesters approached the interchange.
Video showing Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck, ignoring Floyd’s pleas until he eventually stopped moving, has sparked nationwide protests. Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder, and three other officers who were there have been charged as an accessory to the crime.
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