DES MOINES, Iowa — Another Des Moines City Council meeting disrupted by protesters resulted in several individuals being removed from the Council Chambers and arrested Monday evening.
According to the Des Moines Police Department, three adults were arrested Monday night and a juvenile was released to parents and referred to Juvenile Courts on Criminal Trespass.
Those arrested include:
- Paden Shuemaker, 24, of Des Moines for Criminal Trespass
- Kathleen Galloway-Menke, 47, of Johnston for Interference with Official Acts
- Jacob Grobe, 42, of Des Moines with Interference with Official Acts
Police said additional or amended charges may follow.
Items 3 through 58 were listed on the consent agenda for Monday night. Earlier, item 54G, which would have increased funding for security services at City buildings through Conley Group, Inc., was removed from the consent agenda "for further discussion."
Some comments made by the head of Conley came to light recently, resulting in the City pulling the item for now. The exact comments made by Conley have not been confirmed by Local 5.
"Remarks attributed to Mr. Conley that recently came to light are concerning and inconsistent with the culture and practices of the City of Des Moines," Des Moines City Manager Scott Sanders said in a statement. "While we have been satisfied with the professionalism of the security services Conley Group has provided in City Hall for the past 18 months, we do feel comments attributed to Mr. Conley must be properly investigated."
Similar to the meeting on June 28, Mayor Frank Cownie started Monday's meeting with rules, emphasizing that anyone engaging in a disruptive manner would be removed from the room and building for the remainder of the day.
Councilmember Josh Mandelbaum spoke up on several items listed, including Items 48, 49, 50, 51, 54B and 54D. Each item deals with law enforcement in one way or another. View them in the agenda here.
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The councilmember said he was willing to listen to 30 minutes worth of public comment on any issues within the consent agenda, but Councilmember Joe Gatto disagreed.
"I guess I don't see the need that we need to have a discussion, since everything's already allocated for most of these, and they are appropriate for the consent," Gatto said. "So I'm not going to support anything like that, just to sit here and, and be able to take some type of criticism or comments of any kind. I think we've had plenty of that."
The council voted to approve the consent agenda without hearing public comment 7-0. That's when the protests began.
A woman began standing on a chair in the front row of the audience, holding a small sign. She remained standing as Mayor Cownie asked her over and over again to sit down. Councilmember Gatto can be heard asking the mayor if they should take a recess or not.
Officers with the Des Moines Police Department appeared behind the council, and Cownie asked the woman again to sit down. Then an officer walked up to the woman to get her off the chair. Another officer joined him shortly after.
The audio during this part of the meeting cuts in and out, but it did look as though the officer asked the woman to step down from the chair.
An officer reached around the woman to hold the back of her waist before she went limp. The officers caught her and brought her to the ground quickly.
The woman slumped all the way to the ground with an officer holding her right side all the way down. The officers then placed her under arrest.
As this happened, the council left to take a five-minute recess.
Things continued to escalate in the chamber as council members walked out. A man who had been sitting next to the woman was also arrested and escorted out of the chamber.
Folks in the meeting stood up in protest, then several more individuals were escorted out of the chamber by police.