DES MOINES, Iowa — The fifth night of protests took place in Des Moines Tuesday night over the death of George Floyd, who died after a now-fired Minnesota police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes last week.
For the first time since the protests started in Des Moines, no tear gas or pepper spray was used against protestors, and there was no damage done to property.
Tuesday night’s protest began at the Pappajohn Sculpture Park and then moved west down Grand Avenue as protesters marched to the Governor’s mansion at Terrace Hill.
The march led straight past WHO 13’s studios and at one point, it stretched from 18th Street to the bridge over MLK Jr. Parkway.
At Terrace Hill, protesters stopped to ask Gov. Kim Reynolds to come outside and address the crowd. The crowd chanted “We want to talk,” but the governor did not come outside.
Some Iowa State Patrol officers shed their riot gear as requested by protesters and some linked arms with members of the crowd.
The group then marched back east to the sculpture park.
We asked one protester what he’d like to see come from these protests.
“For me, that looks like…bare minimum, if a cop kills somebody, they’re held accountable. I don’t care what it looks like, I don’t care what happens, I want them to be held accountable. I don’t want it to look like, you know, they get a slap on the wrist, they get put on administrative leave. No, I want them to be held accountable and charges to be filed and I want them to go to jail just like anyone else would,” said Ray Edwards.
From the sculpture park, about a hundred protesters moved east to the Capitol, where they walked to the top of the steps. Protestors stopped others from getting too close to the officers.
They were eventually asked to disperse and after three warnings, the crowd did leave and officers did not have to use tear gas or pepper spray. The curfew in Polk County and all of West Des Moines remains in effect indefinitely.