DES MOINES, IOWA — A Norwalk teenager is charged with assaulting a police officer for allegedly grabbing a State Trooper’s arm during a protest at the State Capitol on Thursday. Josephine Mulvihill, 18, was cited and released following the incident yesterday afternoon.
According to a criminal complaint, Mulvihill was among a group of dozens of people at the Capitol on Thursday protesting a list of bills dealing with police issues. During the protest, Mulvihill and another woman allegedly blocked the path of two State Troopers, demanding their names and badge numbers. One trooper says Mulvihill grabbed his arm, knocking him off balance. The trooper responded by taking Mulvihill to the ground and placing her in handcuffs. Cell phone video of the arrest shared on social media show protesters grabbing at arresting officers, then being pushed back by other officers.
Troopers say protestors then gathered around their car outside, preventing them from leaving the scene. They say some of those protestors tried opening the door of the trooper’s car. Other officers were eventually able to clear a path allowing the car to leave.
Well-known Des Moines peace activist Frank Cordaro was at Thursday’s protest. He believes it is the State Patrol who is to blame for the incident. “It seems to be a provoked action,” Cordaro says, “We were at the end of our demonstration. We were following all the protocols. There was permission to be there. Now we were loud and we were you know boisterous and not always saying nice things. But we’re there to protest racism.”