Gov. Reynolds and Mayor Cownie release statement on Des Moines protest and violence

This content provided by the Office of the Governor of Iowa, Kim Reynolds as a press release.

Gov. Kim Reynolds and Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie released the following statements on last night’s protests and violence that occurred in downtown Des Moines:

 Governor Kim Reynolds:

 “The unsettling and criminal act of violence that robbed George Floyd of his rights and his life was unconscionable and must be met with swift justice. As Iowans, it is right for us to react in different ways, from sadness to outrage. But it is never right to react with violence.

 “The violence that happened last night in Des Moines undermines the message of change and hope that so many seek. A thousand people gathered to exercise their right to protest and to speak their mind. It was a powerful message. But the lawless actions of a few drowned out that message.

 “I am grateful for the swift response, purposeful restraint and commitment to cooperation consistently shown by Iowa’s law enforcement officers. Thank you for showing unwavering bravery, professionalism, and demonstrating your deep ties to the community that all of you are sworn to defend and protect.

 “Respectful, peaceful dialogue is who we are as Iowans, and violence doesn’t address injustice or solve problems. We respect our neighbors, cherish our community, follow the rule of law, and that is how we will move forward together. Change won’t happen overnight, but a respectful and peaceful dialogue will bring action and progress.”

 Mayor Frank Cownie:

 “This was a difficult and challenging night for the City of Des Moines. What began as a peaceful rally for many escalated into needless violence on our streets. Fortunately, no one suffered serious injuries, however, as we’ve seen in the light of day there was damage to nearby businesses, cars and property.

 “Like hundreds of other Des Moines residents, I attended last night’s rally. It was peaceful and powerful as it was intended. It had a purpose. Unfortunately for some, that wasn’t acceptable and they took matters into their own hands. Bringing violence to our streets and endangering others.

 “We understand the raw emotions facing our cities and the country surrounding the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. What happened there was horrific and unacceptable. We can’t undo what happened there, but we can have an impact on what happens here in our community, and how we move forward.

 “I want to thank the Des Moines Police Department for their heroic efforts last night. Their professionalism was on display and beyond reproach.  I also would like to thank the men and women from other law enforcement agencies who arrived on our streets and provided assistance and to Representative Ako Abdul-Samad and the community leaders who talked to protesters and assisted police in easing tensions. Des Moines is grateful for what they did.”

 Today, Governor Reynolds and Mayor Cownie met with Police Chief Dana Wingert, Department of Public Safety Commissioner Steve Bayens, Iowa-Nebraska NAACP President Betty Andrews, Representative Ako Abdul-Samad and other community leaders about the protests and violence in Des Moines last night. The State of Iowa and the City of Des Moines are in close coordination and stand ready to maintain the rule of law. 


This content provided by the Office of the Governor of Iowa, Kim Reynolds as a press release.

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As Iowa’s 43rd Governor, Kim Reynolds is determined to make sure that Iowa’s success is every Iowan’s success. Whether it’s preparing Iowans for cutting-edge careers, fighting for education, improving healthcare and mental health access, or empowering our rural communities, Kim’s priorities are making a difference in all four corners of the state. Her vision keeps Iowans at the center of all decisions, especially in the area of fiscal responsibility. Kim knows that when Iowa taxpayers are able to keep more of their money, great things happen. She also believes in redemption. Kim’s justice reform initiatives carefully balance second chances with victim rights. As Governor, Kim’s strong voice for international trade, agriculture, and advanced manufacturing is opening new markets and maintaining relationships with leaders in China, Mexico, Canada, Israel, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Germany, Brazil and Argentina, to name just a few. Although she’s traveled the world telling Iowa’s story, Kim is still a small-town girl at heart with common-sense values. These principles are reflected in the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa initiative and Future Ready Iowa. At age 57, Kim earned a bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University. Then, nearly two years later, on Nov. 4, 2018, she was elected by Iowans to become their first woman Governor. Family means everything to Kim and her husband, Kevin. They have three daughters (Jennifer, Nicole and Jessica) who are happily married, and Kim and Kevin love spending time with their 10 very active grandchildren.