DES MOINES, Iowa (KCCI) - Law enforcement officers began arresting demonstrators on the state capitol grounds on Wednesday afternoon.
According to television station KCCI, at least several of the demonstrators were arrested and led away in a police van. Iowa State Patrol and Des Moines Police officers participated in the arrests. Protesters were there to demand that Gov. Kim Reynolds sign an executive order to restore felon votings rights by Saturday, July 4.
Des Moines police told KCCI that several arrests were made inside the statehouse due to prior incidents. Other arrests were made outside after those arrests were made. Video from KCCI showed some demonstrators being taken to the ground by law enforcement, with other demonstrators trying to pull them off. Some pushing between demonstrators and law enforcement is also seen.
Police used pepper spray to help disperse the crowd. The crowd did eventually leave after deputies ordered them to do so in an announcement, saying they were unlawfully assembled.
Sgt. Paul Parizek, with the Des Moines Police, said that the demonstrators’ attempts to separate law enforcement from those they were arresting was “probably one of the most violent attacks I’ve seen on police in a long time.”
Demonstrators said that the police’s handling of arrests was to blame for the confrontation.
The arrests began around 1:30 p.m.
Police Officers Assaulted At BLM Protest
Today, multiple police officers were assaulted at the State Capitol while arresting persons wanted in connection with the vandalism at Hy Vee on 20 June 20. Efforts to encourage these offenders to turn themselves in were declined, and today they were taken into custody when they were seen at a Black Lives Matter protest event. These arrests went without incident.
As officers escorted an arrestee out of the building, they were swarmed and assaulted. The attached video is only seconds after the arrestee was led out of the Capitol.
Protestors have said that they were pushed out of the Capitol. They followed, surrounded, and assaulted the arresting officers.
In this video you’ll see an officer being attacked from behind, placed in a chokehold, and wrestled to the ground. During this assault the officer was disarmed of his duty handgun. Towards the end of the video, you will see the officer gain control of the arrestee and his handgun, fortunately successfully re-holstering it.
Eventually, order was restored but not before at least 15 more arrests had to be made.
Central Iowa law enforcement has been supportive of peaceful protests, and professional and tolerant with non-violent protests that illegally block roadways for hours and disrupt neighborhoods. We have exercised restraint and discretion during times of criminal damage to property.
Arrests are not an attempt to halt progress or punish any person that is critical of our department. Arrests in connection with the vandalism at Hy Vee and other local businesses address the real cost of the damage; the financial and emotional impact on the owners, consumers, and in some cases, the taxpayer.
Throughout these events, officers have been assaulted with rocks, bricks, and bottles of water/urine. These attacks end today. Violence against anyone, including police officers, will result in arrest.
Our Des Moines Police Department has continued, daily, to engage in discussions and work with community leaders and activists focused on partnering together to improve the quality of life for all citizens in Des Moines. This will continue.
Together we have the strength to be the change.Posted by Des Moines Police on Wednesday, July 1, 2020
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