116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Ankeny-based Casey’s General Stores has “paused” its use of armed security at a southeast Iowa City store “while our security needs are reviewed,” a spokeswoman confirmed to The Gazette Saturday morning.
It comes after many members of the Iowa City community raised concerns about the message an armed guard sends to a community with a relatively large Black population.
The store, located at 1904 Broadway St. in Iowa City, is in a census tract that is about 25 percent Black, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
When The Gazette visited other Casey’s locations in Iowa City earlier this month, no armed security was present. The downtown location is in a census tract that is about 4 percent Black.
“Why is this one the one that needs an armed guard?” said David Drustrup, a 34-year-old Iowa City resident, in a May 7 Gazette article.
Casey’s spokeswoman Katie Petru previously told The Gazette “elevated levels of disruptive activity” in 2018 led to the placement of armed security.
Iowa City Police Department received similar levels of calls for service among the Casey’s locations on Broadway Street, downtown and on Willow Creek Court in 2021 between Jan. 1 and May 5.
The Willow Creek Court had the most calls, according to police records.
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