Mayor ‘not OK’ with use of tear gas on Iowa City protesters
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Police officers fired several tear gas canisters and flash grenades late Wednesday to disperse protesters in Iowa City who were advancing toward Interstate 80. Hundreds of protesters were met by a line of Iowa State Patrol and Iowa City police officers on Dubuque Street blocking their path to the busy highway. The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports that a speaker identifying himself as a patrol officer ordered the crowd to disperse and warned that the failure to do so would result in the deployment of chemical munitions. The newspaper says that officers fired tear gas canisters when the crowd continued marching north. In the following minutes, the crowd backed up, attempted to rally and again march forward, but eventually were forced back.
Iowa governor signs voting rights bill requiring restitution
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill Thursday that will allow convicted felons to get their voting rights back only after they have paid full restitution to victims. The bill becomes effective if the legislature passes a proposed constitutional amendment automatically restoring voting rights for convicted felons. Reynolds, who has pushed for restoration of felon voting rights, initially opposed Republican lawmakers’ efforts to pass the restitution requirement. However, she changed her position once GOP senators said they would not pass the constitutional amendment unless she agreed to the repayment requirement. It’s unclear if the bill will withstand a court challenge since a similar measure in Florida was struck down as unconstitutional.
AMERICA PROTESTS-IOWA LEGISLATURE
Iowa Democrats unveil police conduct bills; GOP considering
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Democrats and black leaders are calling for urgent action by state lawmakers to end racial injustice and have proposed several bills during the shortened legislative session. One bill would make it illegal for police in Iowa to use a chokehold or neck restraint unless a person poses an imminent threat. Another would make it illegal for Iowa police departments to hire officers who were fired or resigned while being investigated for serious misconduct or excessive force. Republican leaders in the House and Senate said they’d consider the ideas.
AP-AMERICA PROTESTS-IOWA REPORTER
Waterloo police charge 2 after attack on reporter at protest
WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Waterloo police charged two people after an attack on a reporter during a late-night protest. Police Thursday charged 29-year-old Irwin Leon Wade III, of Waterloo, with disorderly conduct and rioting, and set his bond at $11,000. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports a 16-year-old also was arrested on similar charges. They were arrested in connection with an attack during a march in Waterloo just before midnight Tuesday. Wade allegedly demanded that Courier reporter Jeff Reinitz leave and then tried to hit him when he refused. Wade then is charged with punching another demonstrator who tried to help the reporter. Reinitz was also allegedly struck by the 16-year-old.
GIRL DROWNS-SIOUX FALLS-LAWSUIT
Judge refuses to dismiss lawsuit over Iowa girl’s drowning
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit against the city of Sioux Falls over the drowning of a 5-year-old Iowa girl who fell into Big Sioux River at Falls Park two years ago. Attorneys representing the city asked the court last year to dismiss the lawsuit. The suit was brought by Courtney Jayne, the mother of Maggie Zaiger. Zaiger fell into the river from river bank rocks on March 18, 2018, during a family trip to the park. Jayne alleges the city is responsible because of a lack of signs and safety fencing in the park. The Argus Leader reports the judge’s ruling will let a jury decide if safety precautions in place at Falls Park at the time of Zaiger’s death were enough.
Grassley vows to block Trump nominees over watchdog firings
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley says he is blocking two Trump administration nominees until the White House provides adequate reasons for the recent termination of two inspectors general. The Iowa senator is a longtime advocate for the watchdog role of inspectors general. He pledged to block Senate consideration of Christopher Miller to be director of the National Counterterrorism Center and Marshall Billingslea to be undersecretary of state for arms control and international security. Grassley has been seeking answers on President Donald Trump’s recent firings of several inspectors general, including Michael Atkinson, inspector general for the intelligence community, and State Department Inspector General Steve Linick.