ACKLEY, Iowa (AP) – An SUV with Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds hit a Black Lives Matter protester who attempted to block the vehicle on Tuesday when she left an event in northern Iowa.
The Iowa State Patrol confirmed that the SUV had hit the demonstrator, one of about two dozen Black Lives Matter activists who had traveled 90 miles from Des Moines to Ackley. Members of the group were not allowed to attend the event at Family Traditions Meat, a small processor, so they gathered at the end of a driveway and tried to block the governor’s SUV.
Jaylen Cavil, a Black Lives Matters organizer, told the Des Moines Register that he was in the driveway hoping Reynolds would roll down a window and talk to protesters.
“I was right in front of the car and I just stood there. I was like, “I’m going to stand here. The governor’s driver won’t hit me with her car. This is the governor, my governor, who should represent me. I’m sure her car won’t hit me intentionally. “I was wrong,” he said.
Cavil said the impact turned him around and lifted him onto the hood of the SUV, but he was not injured.
“I think 100% that they deliberately hit me,” he said. “It is impossible that this driver could not see me right in front of his car.”
Afterward, Cavil said an Iowa State Patrol trooper started yelling at him and calling him an idiot.
It was not clear who was driving the SUV.
Troopers in the patrol executive protection unit usually drive the governor to and from events, but patrol spokesman Sgt. Alex Dinkla did not immediately confirm that a trooper was driving the SUV.
“Preliminary reports from law enforcement officials on the ground show that the demonstrator intentionally stepped in front of the moving vehicle,” Dinkla said in a statement. “The demonstrator did not appear to be injured, denied any medical treatment and continued his activities. The Iowa State Patrol is investigating the circumstances.”
Black Lives Matter activists protest outside Reynolds’ office and attend events in hopes of pressuring her to quickly sign an executive order ending Iowa status as the only state to automatically revoke criminal voting rights. They must individually request the governor to restore their rights.
Reynolds, a Republican, had proposed to amend the Iowa Constitution to automatically restore the right to vote for criminals, but instead agreed to sign an executive order after the Senate Republicans blocked the legislative action for two years. Reynolds has not provided a specific timeline for when she will sign an order or provide details on whether criminals should take additional steps before gaining their voting rights.
Pat Garrett, the governor’s spokesman, did not immediately respond to a text by The Associated Press asking for comment on the incident.
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