Media Contact

Veronica Lorson Fowler, Communications Director

March 10, 2021

The following statement regarding the acquittal of reporter Andrea Sahouri can be attributed to ACLU of Iowa Legal Director Rita Bettis Austen.

"Sahouri, a reporter covering the George Floyd protests last summer, was subjected to wrongful arrest, excessive force, and what appears to be retaliation for exercising the First Amendment right of newsgathering that we all have. The jury heard evidence that she was arrested and pepper-sprayed after clearly identifying herself as a Des Moines Register reporter.

The facts of her arrest are appalling, but the fact that the state has pressed on in prosecuting her after these facts became apparent has been an embarrassment for Polk County and the State of Iowa, attracting national and international condemnation.

We are relieved the jury acquitted Sahouri today, but underlying problems in our justice system have been laid bare. We join the many calls for reform of the Polk County Attorney's Office in light of this outlandish prosecution."