Arrests made at state capitol during Black Lives Matter protest
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.
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