Two Iowa Cops File Civil Suit Against 2020 BLM Protesters
The Black Lives Matter protests that dominated the headlines following the 2020 death of George Floyd have led to a new civil lawsuit here in Iowa, as two Des Moines police officers name six individuals, accusing them of "nothing short of domestic terrorism".
KCCI reports that in the lawsuit, Officers Peter Wilson and Jeffrey George outline events on July 1, 2020, at a protest outside the state capitol in Des Moines. Named as defendants are six former members of the Des Moines Black Lives Matter chapter. Indira Dixon Schumaker, Eva Cecilia Lewin, Anna Renee Gebhardt, Bradley Christopher Penna, and Jennifer Marie Erwin were affiliated with DSM BLM.
The verbiage in the court documents states that the six defendants mentioned above "diverted police officers from responding to incidents of violence and vandalism and violently “de-arrested” protestors."
Stein and Scheumaker allegedly placed officer Jeffrey George in a chokehold. At the same time, Lewin, Gebhardt, Penna, and Erwin allegedly pulled on officer Peter Wilson’s hands and arms to prevent him from making an arrest.
The officers are asking for an undisclosed amount, but one that will "reportedly reasonably compensate them for their actual damages as well as punitive damages with interest and costs as provided by law."
As they say, there are two sides to every story, and Axios attempts to outline that of the defendants. They cite a 2020 statement from Drake University professor Sally Frank to the AP, in which Frank said the officers "mishandled" the situation, "in the worst way possible" by using physical means, rather than talking to them first.
It should be noted that the Des Moines Police Department itself is not affiliated with this lawsuit, only the individual officers.
According to WeAreIowa, hearing dates have not yet been set, and the defendants themselves had not filed responses as of Wednesday, July 6.