116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
This is Stephen Schmidt from the Gazette digital news desk and I’m here with your update for Wednesday, December 22.
It’ll be another sunny, always-somewhere-near freezing day on Wednesday. According to a forecast from the National Weather Service it will be sunny in the Cedar Rapids area with a high near 34 degrees. On Wednesday night it will be partly cloudy, with a low around 26.
The Iowa City Community Police Review Board has concluded that the use of flash bangs and tear gas by police officers during a Black Lives Matter protest last year was justified and did not violate the police department’s excessive force policy.
The five-member board was divided “even after lengthy deliberations,” according to a Dec. 13 report from the board. By a 3-2 vote, members decided to “not sustain” the complaint but raised concerns over how police acted when the tear gas was deployed.
The board received a formal complaint about the incident on June 4, 2020 — a day after Iowa City police and Iowa State Patrol officers used flash-bangs, tear gas and pepper sprays on protesters to keep the crowd off Interstate 80. Starting on Feb. 9, the board met 11 times to consider various reports on the incident.
A suspect is in Iowa City police custody after officers responded just before 10 a.m. Tuesday to reports of shots fired in a home near downtown and found a male suffering from gunshot wounds.
Investigators have shared few details about the 9:46 a.m. report of “multiple shots fired” at 402 Fairchild St. — which sits two blocks west of North Market Park in the historic North Side neighborhood and three blocks west of Mann Elementary.
Officers responding to the two-story home found the suspected shooter on the second floor, in addition to a male with multiple gunshot wounds, according to an Iowa City police news release. He’s been hospitalized and is being treated for his injuries — although police didn’t disclose his condition.
A handful of Senate Democrats on Tuesday held a news conference to announce they will introduce legislation that would propose an amendment to the Iowa Constitution that would make marijuana legal for recreational use and regulate it like alcohol.
Amendments to the Iowa Constitution must be passed in two legislative sessions separated by an election, and then must be approved by a public vote.
More than half of Iowans, 54 percent, support legalizing marijuana for recreational use, according to a Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll from March, an increase from 29 percent in 2013. Despite this increased support, it all will likely be a symbolic effort. Brad Zaun, a Republican State Senator from Urbandale who heads the committee that would have to sign off on constitutional effort even moving forward in the first place, told the Gazette that he doesn’t intend to let it see the light of day.
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