Protests in Merle Hay Mall Area Subside After Looting, Tear Gas

DES MOINES, Iowa - Protesters dispersed after midnight Monday morning after Des Moines Police deployed tear gas for the fourth time in two nights of disruptions around the city.

The Sunday night clashes took place in the area of Merle Hay Mall, where a Target Store was broken into after closing before 5 p.m. when a group of protesters gathered. Looters took out windows at several businesses in addition to the Target Store.

Through the course of the evening, a large group of protesters walked up and down Merle Hay and Douglas roads, sometimes blocking the street from traffic flow. Police used pepper spray at various times over the course of the evening.

State Representative Ako Abdul-Samad was on the scene with a bull horn making numerous attempts to calm the mood of the protesters and deescalate the violent outbursts. Des Moines pastor Ron Woods made similar efforts.

Police deployed tear gas shortly before 11 p.m. Some protesters responded by throwing fireworks at police officers.

Ongoing protests over three nights took place in response to the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed when a Minneapolis Police officer placed his knee on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes.

(Image courtesy of WHO-TV)

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