Rally demanding change in Iowa City policing following viral arr - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Rally demanding change in Iowa City policing following viral arrest

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Close to 100 people rallied outside Iowa City Hall Monday evening demanding change after a video surfaced online of a teen being forced to the ground during an arrest.

“Because it's true, the Iowa City Police Department is racist,” said Melyssa-Jo Kelly. “And they target black youth, they threw that child on the ground and arrested him for no good reason and I'm sick of this brutality!”

Kelly is referring to the video where police tell us a 15-year old didn't comply with police orders.

The video sparked Monday night's rally, because some in the community say the juvenile was simply being a kid, playing at the recreation center in Iowa City and police did not need to use any force.

Rally participants chanted “Black kids play too” and took their voices into the Iowa City Council meeting where the council listened to their comments.

After investigating, the police department says the officer did follow proper procedures, but the incident has led to a change in the Iowa City Police policy when it comes to use of force.

The changes require officers to first-use “verbal de-escalation techniques when possible.”

“Give the person the opportunity to gather some information, process some information and make an informed decision rather than just throw commands as them,” said Troy Kelsay with Iowa City Police.

Some say more still needs to be done.

“That's a step in the right direction, but we also have tones of issues in this community not just with Iowa City PD, but as a community as a whole,” said Fredrick Newell.

Every officer will have to undergo training for the new policy.

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