A discusion about police reform was derailed on Tuesday in Coralville, Iowa when a council member spoke out against Black Lives Matter.
Accoring to Tom Gill, "BLM, to me, is a bunch of criminals, and I have zero tolerance for criminals."
This stands in stark contrast to other cities throughout the nation.
The Minneapolis city council, for example, voted unaminously to defund and abolish the police.
Asheville, NC voted to approve reparations for black businesses in the city.
Now, Coralville represents the "pushback" from the silen majority.
More details on the derailed discussion below:
National polling suggests that while more Americans are feeling hesitant about the police, they approve their local police departments overwhelmingly.
The media portrayal of law enforcement is very different from what people actually experience in their hometowns.
The Des Moines Register confirms the story:
A discussion about policing in Coralville was derailed Tuesday night when one city council member denounced Black Lives Matters and an effort to gather information about police stops in the eastern Iowa city.
"BLM, to me, is a bunch of criminals, and I have zero tolerance for criminals," Tom Gill, a self-described "volatile" council member, said. "Eighty percent of the town doesn’t give a damn about what you are talking about — they are fed up."
This week, city staff provided the council with a long list of answers to questions about policing in the community. The council members requested the data in early June in reaction to protests following the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis.
However, City Administrator Kelly Hayworth said Tuesday that his staff was still compiling data on traffic stops so they can provide the council with clearer information on the number of stops involving minority drivers.
"These are big-city demands, not Coralville demands," Gill said. "My feeling is ... we have an excellent police department. We’ve got council people who want to create issues."
Mayor John Lundell, who has supported the probe into Coralville's police department, said Wednesday that the city council is under a lot of stress. Gill's comments are not representative of the council's work, he said.
"It's a difficult discussion we are having, and I think some emotions came out last night that were unfortunate, but I expect the next discussions to be calmer," Lundell told the Press-Citizen.
Councilmember Jill Dodds said as far the protesters' demands were concerned, Coralville had already lifted their curfew and, therefore satisfied the demands they raised of Coralville's leaders.
"I don't believe any of (the protesters' other demands) apply to us," she told the Press-Citizen.
Since the death of George Floyd, the political demands by some leaders of BLM have grown more radical.
Calls to defund and abolish the police have gained momentum.
Some cities are even considering reparations.
However, Coralville appears to be pushing back against the tide.
Coralville was one of the central protest points in the state of Iowa immediately after George Floyd's death.
BLM protesters attempted to close Interstate 80 leading to the city.
Press Citizen confirms:
Following a two-day break from demonstrations, protesters marched from the Old Capitol to Coralville on Thursday, where they had a standoff with law enforcement near Interstate 80.
For more than an hour, about 200 protesters stood and chanted in front of a barricade and authorities. Interstate 80 was closed for a short period.
The protesters then turned around and walked south down 1st Avenue back toward Iowa City.
Before marching, protesters gathered to listen to speeches at the Old Capitol Building.
The speakers included the attorney and mother of a vocal leader of the protests who was arrested Sunday.
Mazin Mohamedali, 20, faces charges from Iowa City police for unlawful assembly and disorderly conduct stemming from alleged events on June 3, when law enforcement used chemical irritants to disperse a crowd near Interstate 80 in Iowa City.
In recent weeks, protests have appeared to dissipate across the nation.
Now, council members and leaders are stuck with how to address these issues from a policy level.
Fortunately, more and more common sense leaders are standing up for law and order!