Police work to protect downtown business and maintain order during protest Sunday

By [email protected] Updated on Monday, June 01 2020 06:35pm

"Thank you for your service.", "I appreciate what you do.", "I respect Police." These are sounds that could be heard at 6th and Douglas late into the night Sunday and early morning Monday. They were often drowned out by the screeching and never-ending "Fuck the Police." Screams, motors revving and chanting of "Black Lives Matter", "Fuck 12", "George Floyd",

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As the night went on protesters' voices became more and more horse and while some of them wore down, others became more and more agitated that the crowd for the most part that began forming around 5:00 pm remained peaceful.

Earlier in the day between 2 and 3 pm three Sioux City Patrol Cars in the parking lot of the Sioux City Police Department were found to have been damaged by rocks and bricks. At the time there were no protesters. About 5:00 pm a small crowd began to form at the Corners of 6th and Pearl and 6th and Douglas. By about 6:30 the crowd had grown to no more than 50. Chief Mueller was seen taking water to and interacting with the crowd.

Near 8:30 pm the crowd had dwindled to less than 25. After the 10:00 o'clock news showed protestors the crowd again began to grow. The Police Departments' 2nd shift was told to stay on duty and the 3rd shift joined them. By midnight there were more than 400 people gathered in the Library parking lot. Mostly peaceful, but a small group continually tried to incite officers as they yelled slurs, threw rocks, and water bottles, striking officers and damaging a patrol car.

Officers left the parking lot in attempts to deescalate the building tension. The protesters followed them. One protester, 26-year-old Khatija Janette Mills began to throw rocks at the police department building windows in an attempt to break them. Police quickly took her into custody as the mob surrounded them. A protest organizer became very upset with the crowd. Reminding them that violence would not be tolerated and would get the event shut down. While other protesters yelled and screamed at the officers, one young woman even proclaiming if the crowd acted quickly the officers wouldn't be able to arrest her.

For the next hour or so Officers mingled in the crowd, many speaking to protesters. I heard many "Thank You's", "I respect you", "I'm sorry people are being so rude". The overall calm and peaceful crowd was drowned out as a 19-year-old Dieo Donne Okamba-Onolenga ran North on Douglas throwing rocks at windows, even breaking the Center for Siouxland Window. He was acting very erratic smacking police cars, yelling, and screaming. As police quickly surrounded him he continued to yell, one statement he repeated over and over was that he would eat the police dog that was there. As he was arrested the crowd became more and more agitated. Continuing to throw rocks, water bottles, one even lighting a shirt on fire in the street.

The aggressive crowd was much smaller than the agitated crowd, Many in the crowd were continually trying to calm down the ones causing issues. Soon after a rock was thrown through the police department window. It was then about 3:00 am the Sioux City Police Department Decided the crowd was too unruly and violent deciding to shut it down. They formed a line, made announcements to leave or be arrested. Most left but about 50 to 75 remained and engaged police as police walked toward them. For the first time in the evening, police took a "police" stance against the crowd. Dressed in face and body protection, armed with less-lethal OC powder and Spray. More of the crowd left the area but a small group continued to engage officers, throwing rocks, bricks, and whatever they could find. Some got into cars and started circling the area yelling slurs as they drove by revving their engines.

A total of 14 arrests were made, 2 of them juveniles. Most charges were for failure to disperse and unlawful assembly. These were at the end of the evening after the event was deemed unsafe and shut down by police.

Only minor injuries to police were reported. Chief Rex Mueller and Captain Mark Kirkpatrick remained on scene throughout the evening and into the early morning hours in addition to about 30 Sioux City Police officers and 10 Woodbury County Deputies.

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The following arrests were made
- Dieo D. Okamba-Onolenga, 19-years-old, Sioux City, 2nd Degree Criminal Mischief, Simple Assault
- Alvreez L. James, 23-years-old, Sioux City, Assault on a Peace Officer, Eluding a Peace Officer, Fail to Disperse
- Keegan A. Kinzie, 20-years-old, Sioux City, Assault on a Peace Officer, Fail to Obey a Peace
- Hayley M. Gibson, 22-years-old, Sioux City, Unlawful Assembly Officer, Failure to Disperse, Interference with Official Acts, Possession of a Control Substance
- Mauke R. Butler, 28-years-old, Sioux City, Failure to Disperse
- Zaire Dean, 22-years-old, Sioux City, Unlawful Assembly
- Nolan J. Watchorn, 22-years-old, Sioux City, Unlawful Assembly
- Colin t. Kochevar, 25-years-old, Sioux City, Unlawful Assembly
- Joseph R. Smith, 38-years-old, Lawton, Unlawful Assembly
- Aaliah R. Cruz, 18-years-old, Sioux City, Unlawful Assembly
- Jada R. Swanson, 19-years-old, Sioux City, Unlawful Assembly
- Siera Johnson, 19-years-old, Sioux City, Unlawful Assembly
- Two juveniles were also arrested for failing to obey officers’ orders to disperse.