Iowa City Police Department’s Interim Police Chief Bill Campbell condemned Friday the Minneapolis police officer who used his knee to pin down George Floyd, a black man who later died.
“The death of Mr. George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer is tragic,” Campbell wrote in a prepared statement. “Like many of you, I watched the video in disbelief, sadness, and frustration, as those who took an oath to protect us, failed to make good on that promise. The manner in which these officers treated Mr. Floyd is inconsistent with how we train police officers to conduct their interactions with the public.”
Campbell added that he, as well as Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague would speak more on the topic at the June 2 Iowa City city council meeting.
In an encounter captured on video and posted online, Floyd could be heard saying to the Minneapolis officer “I can’t breathe” as the officer, who is white, held his knee to Floyd’s neck. The Minneapolis officer, later identified as Derek Chauvin, was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, the Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Friday.
Iowa activists plan rallies in solidarity with Floyd
Protests and rallies have been held and planned across Iowa this weekend. In Linn County, dozens of people stood outside the county courthouse, and people organized in Des Moines Friday evening to rally in honor of Floyd.
In Iowa City on Saturday, a rally is set to take place at noon on the Pentacrest in solidarity with the Minneapolis protests, as well as other people of color killed across the U.S., including Ahmaud Arbery and Yassin Mohamed. The group set up a GoFundMe page asking for donations for masks, hand sanitizers, gloves, and gas. The group plans to travel to Minneapolis after the rally.
In an email to The Daily Iowan, Iowa City Police Public Information Officer wrote earlier in the day that there weren’t any set plans from the city concerning the planned rally, but that the city would share information that could affect traffic or pedestrians on social media pages and in press releases.