After the Des Moines City Council voted to approve reforms on police bias, we are receiving credible accounts that police action with protestors later in the evening were unconstitutional and violated the right of people to exercise fundamental free speech rights. This includes "kettling" and the use of excessive force on nonviolent protesters including a child, media, and a legal observer.
It's clear to us that law enforcement leadership is failing to keep officers in line and communicate clearly to them that their role is to protect protesters' ability to exercise their free speech rights—not to punish protesters for challenging police brutality and racism.
The fact that these actions took place on protestors who were encouraging police reforms only further confirms that fundamental change cannot wait.
We never forecast litigation plans, but obviously that's something that must be on the table for consideration at this point.
In the meantime, we want to hear from city leadership that these actions are unacceptable and police will be held accountable.