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Protestors arrested in Des Moines Tuesday night

Published: Jun. 4, 2020 at 5:02 PM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) - In Des Moines, some protesters are calling the police “the aggressors” after a night of protesting on Tuesday. They say officers acted aggressively as they pulled them from an elevator, but police say there’s more to the story.

On Tuesday night, the protest in Des Moines included about 1,000 people, with a march that stretched from the Sculpture Park, in the downtown area, to the Governor’s Mansion, and then to the steps of the Iowa Capitol.

Although people stayed past the 9 p.m. curfew, law enforcement didn’t read the final order for protesters to leave according to the Des Moines Register, until after midnight. Unlike Monday night, there were no flashbangs or tear gas. People then left and it stayed peaceful.

After people had left the protest area, there were some arrests. 23 people were arrested Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

A video shows Des Moines police pulling people out of an elevator at an apartment building at the East Village Square apartments. The people in the video say police were following them in vans and they ducked into the apartment building entryway where a friend offered them a place to say.

Police say the protesters were being disruptive. One of the people who was arrested in the exchange started recording when police came inside the apartment entryway.

John Leonetti, one of the arrested protesters, said, “This is domestic terrorism being performed in the United States of America by the police. I don’t know any protestor that is going to bum rush someone’s apartment building and rip them out of an elevator to make their point. The police are the violent ones that’s what people need to know.”

In response, Sgt. Paul Parizek stated, “There was some activity, some loud, disruptive behavior, that first drew the officers’ attention to them. We just didn’t happen to locate them and have that secondary contact with them until they got inside that apartment.”

On Wednesday night protestors changed tactics. Instead of going to the Capitol steps, they went to the Mayor’s house.

Mayor Frank Cownie came outside and joined them. He talked to protestors about their specific requests about policies they want to see changed. The Mayor ended by telling the crowd “Black Lives Matter.”

Copyright 2020 KCRG. All rights reserved.

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