The murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, at the hands of Minneapolis police officers, amplified the Black Lives Matter movement and immediate need for action. As a result, rapid change has swept the country, including here in Iowa City.
Accelerated by local protests and calls for justice, the City of Iowa City has committed itself to strengthening existing social justice and racial equity efforts as well as re-imagining new strategies for dismantling systemic racism in our community.
Black Lives Matter & Systemic Racism Resolution (June 2020)
On June 16, 2020 City Council passed Resolution 20-159, outlining 17 actions to be taken by the City to address the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and systemic racism. City staff will periodically provide a status report on progress of these actions. An abridged summary of the resolution items is listed below:
1. Develop a preliminary Plan to restructure the Iowa City Police Department (ICPD) towards community policing.
2. Commit $1,000,000 to local efforts promoting racial equity and social justice.
3. Increase diversity of City employees, expand equitable recruitment efforts, and elevate organizational equity training, policies, and procedures.
4. Receive a report of ICPD involvement in use of gas and flash-bang devices during a June 2020 Black Lives Matter protest in Iowa City.
5. Create ad hoc Truth & Reconciliation Commission to carry out restorative justice.
6. Adopt 2021 state legislative priorities related to criminal justice reform, enhanced authority of the Community Police Review Board (CPRB), and decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana.
7. Continue use of racial equity toolkit use in all city departments, expand training to the City Council, and educate and train the local business community.
8. Increase accountability and oversight authority of CPRB, where legally possible.
9. Improve transparency and accessibility of detailed ICPD budget expenditures.
10. Review inventory of military grade equipment in ICPD, evaluate federal contracts with the ICPD, and express support for divestment of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle.
11. Enact ICPD General Order to expressly ban the use of chokeholds and any maneuver that cuts off oxygen or blood flow.
12. Continue ICPD policy and practice to be consistent with IA H.F. 2647, ensuring police officers in Iowa have not committed serious misconduct.
13. Investigate compliance and evaluate disciplinary action related to proper use of body cameras and vehicle recording devices
14. Ensure the duty to intervene and stop excessive force, in both ICPD General Order and an MOU with area law enforcement agencies.
15. Increase opportunities for artistic expression by communities of color.
16. Prohibit the use of tear gas, rubber bullets and flashbangs against peaceful protesters.
17. Establish Juneteenth as an official city holiday beginning in 2021.
Summary of Racial Equity Efforts
For information on past social justice and racial equity efforts, visit the Office of Equity and Human Rights.
- Racial Equity Report Card
- Summary reports on key social justice and racial equity initiatives (coming soon).
Community Outreach, Engagement + Education
The City Council, along with its appointed Board and Commissions and City staff, are committed to conducting outreach throughout the community.
If you would like City staff of the Office of Equity and Human Rights to conduct trainings on Know Your Rights in the area of education, public accommodation, housing, employment, credit or on the use of a racial equity toolkit, please contact The Office of Equity and Human Rights.
Upcoming Engagement Events:
- Coming soon.
- June 3, 2020: Speak Up, Speak Out: Wetherby Park - watch the video
- June 5, 2020: Speak Up, Speak Out: Pheasant Ridge Community Center - watch the video
- June 6, 2020: Speak Up, Speak Out: Mercer Park - watch the video
Documents and Resources
- Status Report
- June 16 Resolution No. 20-159 Addressing the Black Lives Matter Movement (English)
- قرار التزامات المجلس الأولية بشأن التعامل مع حركة "حياة السود مهمة" والعنصرية الممنهجة في أعقاب
مقتل جورج فلويد على يد شرطة مينيابوليس، ودعوته إلى اتخاذ إجراءات من جانب المحتجين والسكان.
- 在明尼阿波利斯警方杀害 George Floyd 之后，市议会就“黑人的命也是命”运动和系统性种族主义问题作出初步承诺决议，并呼吁抗议者和居民采取行动。
- Résolution des Engagements Initiaux du Conseil concernant le mouvement Black Lives Matter et le racisme systémique à la suite du meurtre de George Floyd par la police de Minneapolis et les appels à l'action des manifestants et des résidents.
- Resolución de los compromisos iniciales del Concejo con respecto al movimiento de Black Lives Matter y al racismo sistémico tras el asesinato de George Floyd por la policía de Minneapolis y las solicitudes de los manifestantes y los residentes de tomar medidas
- Uamuzi wa Ahadi za Kwanza za Baraza zinazoshughulikia Vuguvugu la Maisha ya Watu Weusi ni Muhimu na Ubaguzi wa Rangi wa Kimfumo kufuatia kuuawa kwa George Floyd na Polisi wa Minneapolis na miito ya kuchukua hatua kutoka kwa wenyeji na waandamaji.
- Video of June 2, 2020 Statement from Mayor Bruce Teague
- Video of June 2, 2020 Statement from Interim Police Chief Bill Campbell
- Video of June 2, 2020 Statement from the Police Labor Relations Organization of Iowa City
- June 10, 2020 Statement from City Manager Geoff Fruin
Racial equity is the development of policies, practices, and strategic investments to reverse racial disparity trends, eliminate institutional racism, and ensure that outcomes and opportunities for all people are no longer predictable by race.
Why start with race?
The creation and perpetuation of racial inequities is embedded into economic, educational, health care, governmental, and social structures at all levels. Initially focusing on racial equity provides the opportunity to introduce a framework, tools and resources that can also be applied to other marginalized groups based on gender, sexual orientation, ability, class, and age, among others.