Protesters march through Iowa City, Coralville; I-80 briefly closed

Updated: Jun. 11, 2020 at 5:49 PM CDT
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CORALVILLE, Iowa (KCRG) - Protesters marched through Iowa City and Coralville Thursday afternoon, at one point forcing the Iowa Department of Transportation to close Interstate 80 as protesters neared the road.

Thursday’s protest comes after a two-day break from demonstrations in Johnson County. Demonstrators have taken to the streets, marching through the cities of Coralville and Iowa City to protest the death of George Floyd, the man killed more than two weeks ago when a Minneapolis police officer pinned him down by neck prompting protests across the country.

Protesters had demanded the Iowa City Council make changes in policing methods and in transparency.

This was the fourth time protesters forced the closure of Interstate 80 in an eight-day period. Last Wednesday, protesters approached a line of law enforcement officers at the Dubuque Street interchange with I-80, which prompted the use of flashbangs and tear gas to disperse the crowds before they were able to gain access to the interstate. Protesters returned on Thursday and Friday evenings, eventually making their way onto the interstate successfully, forcing a more than hour-long closure both nights.

On Thursday, protestors approached the interstate from First Avenue in Coralville but were again met with barricades and a line of police officers preventing access to I-80. As a precaution, the Iowa D.O.T. closed the interstate as protesters chanted, shared stories, and interacted with police and other protesters. After a little more than an hour protesters disbanded, several of them telling officers “they’d be back."

Law enforcement said Thursday’s protest - which started following at rally at the University of Iowa’s Pentacrest Thursday afternoon - was peaceful.

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