Rep. Axne Statement on Recent Demonstrations in Des Moines

June 2, 2020
Press Release

Today, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) issued the following statement on the recent deaths of George Floyd and other African Americans and the past week of demonstrations in Des Moines and other U.S. cities:

“Over the past week, thousands of peaceful protesters have gathered in cities across our country and around the world to express disappointment and demand justice for the deaths of African American men and women like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.

Each of their deaths are tragic, and I share the deep anguish of the demonstrators who have taken to our streets in peaceful and lawful assembly to say that enough is enough. The murders of Black Americans, as well as the systems that so often allow their killers to walk free, must be confronted. We must do more.

In Des Moines, the vast majority of our demonstrators have used peaceful civic action to reject the abuses of power that have unfortunately become all too familiar in our country. It is unfortunate that there are some who have sought to use these protests as a cover for subversive violence and vandalism.

The actions of these few do not reflect the intent of so many who have peacefully demanded justice in our streets, parks, and on the steps of our State Capitol. While we must reject these violent agitators, we must not allow their co-opting of this cause to succeed by focusing only on their destruction.

These protests are hardly the first to call out these injustices – they highlight a long and troubling history of mistreatment and abuse. It is critical that we do not let their voices fade into the background without taking action. Over the past few days, I’ve spoken to leaders in the City of Des Moines, the Iowa NAACP, and other state and community leaders about how we can begin to heal and finally address these glaring injustices in earnest.

We must face the broken and racist systems that failed George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others head on. As a representative for hundreds of thousands of Iowans, including many who have made their voices heard this past week, I am committed to hearing their cries and working as their public servant to advance meaningful reforms to dismantle any and all engines of hate and bigotry in America.”