DES MOINES - The recent murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor have reaffirmed a somber truth of American life. For millions of Black and brown Americans, everyday interactions with police can quickly become a life-or-death situation.
Communities across our nation have responded with nonviolent protests, gathering to demand action and accountability. In Iowa – one of the worst states for racial equality1 – police in Des Moines and Iowa City responded to demonstrators with violence, using tear gas and rubber bullets rather than de-escalating the situation.
The College and Young Democrats of Iowa (CYDI) condemn these acts of police brutality against nonviolent demonstrators and reporters exercising their First Amendment rights. We demand that our leaders listen to our communities and take decisive action to fix the systemic inequities that keep our fellow Iowans from leading safe, healthy, and happy lives.
The Iowa House and Senate Democrats have introduced a Plan for a More Perfect Union, which includes reforms to ban chokeholds by law enforcement, prohibit hiring officers who were previously fired or resigned due to misconduct, and ensure that Iowa’s Attorney General has the power to investigate police misconduct. This is a crucial first step and we support this plan.
We believe in an Iowa where we respect and honor Black lives and where every one of us has the opportunity to succeed, regardless of our race, origin, gender, or ZIP code. Let’s work together to make racial justice a reality.