Fri, 10 Jul 2020

Protesters March Through Iowa Capital After Melee

Voice of America
31 May 2020, 05:35 GMT+10

DES MOINES, IOWA - Demonstrators marched through downtown Des Moines on Saturday to protest George Floyd's death in Minneapolis the afternoon after a peaceful rally turned into a melee in which participants threw bricks at police cars.

Live video from WHO-TV showed dozens of people marching in Iowa's capital chanting slogans such as, "I Can't Breathe" and "No Justice, No Peace." The crowd then knelt on a bridge, briefly blocking traffic.

Floyd's death in Minneapolis sparked looting there and protests across the United States. Floyd, who'd been handcuffed, died after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for several minutes even after he stopped moving and pleading for air. Chauvin now faces murder and manslaughter charges.

The Des Moines protesters called for the arrests of three other officers involved in detaining Floyd.

Organizers of the rally Friday said its participants dispersed in the evening after an hour, but "a small group" remained and began damaging property, The Des Moines Register reported.

When protesters threw bricks, police officers in riot gear pushed against them, and at least one officer sprayed chemical irritants into the crowd.

Community activists and religious leaders were planning a Sunday candlelight vigil and a Monday evening rally at the Iowa Capitol.

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