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Iowa City protesters allowed to access I-80 during peaceful protest Thursday

Published: Jun. 4, 2020 at 11:37 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Hundreds of people marched through Iowa City Thursday - at one point making their way onto Interstate 80 - to protest the death of George Floyd. Thursday’s protest happened a day after tear gas and flashbangs to disperse protesters at North Dubuque Street near the Interstate 80 interchange.

Protesters rally along North Dubuque Street as they approach the Interstate 80 interchange on Thursday, June 4, 2020.
Protesters rally along North Dubuque Street as they approach the Interstate 80 interchange on Thursday, June 4, 2020.(MIKE O'BRIEN/KCRG)

Demonstrators are protesting the death of George Floyd last week. 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.

Following a series of speakers at Iowa City’s Pentacrest Thursday evening, protesters marched their way through the city. Organizers had asked protesters not to approach Interstate 80 as they had on Wednesday. Thursday, law enforcement said that protesters and organizers reached an agreement for demonstrators to approach the area of the Dubuque Street interchange with I-80. After protesters gathered on the Dubuque Street bridge, the Iowa State Patrol closed Interstate 80 and allowed them to access the onramps and the interstate.

Participants and law enforcement described Thursday’s protest as peaceful and productive. That follow’s Wednesday’s march that ended with police using teargas and flashbangs to disperse demonstrators as they approached the Dubuque Street/I-80 interchange.

Police said while Thursday’s protest remained peaceful, some minor vandalism was reported in the city including graffiti at the residence of the University of Iowa’s president.

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