Governor Kim Reynolds of Iowa says the state trooper driving her from an event “acted appropriately” when he struck a Black Lives Matter protester who stood in the exit way of a business location when she was leaving.
“I do feel the driver acted appropriately,” Reynolds said during a Tuesday news brief in Urbandale.
On the other hand, Protester Jaylen Cavil, an organizer of the Des Moines BLM, was accused of “acting inappropriately” by stepping in front of Reynolds SUV as it was exiting a parking lot.
“As we were leaving the vicinity, the individual sped up and stepped in front of the vehicle intentionally, and you cannot block traffic as we’re leaving an event,” Reynolds said.
Fortunately, Cavil was not injured. He admitted he was trying to stop the vehicle but said the governor is not telling the truth about him speeding up to get in front of the SUV. He said he feels she is being held to a different standard and believes the incident is discounting from the work he and other BLM activists are doing to get Reynolds to execute an executive order that will restore voting rights for those that have felony convictions once they complete their sentences.
“It’s not like I went out of my way to jump in front of the vehicle in the way that she explains it or the State Patrol explains it. I was already standing where the vehicle was driving to,” he said.
Video footage of the incident shows the protester taking a couple of steps into the driveway and then standing in front of the vehicle before it struck him. An investigation into the situation found that Cavil intentionally placed himself in a position to be hit by the car when he tried to stop it from leaving. No accident report was made because Cavil was not injured, and the SUV was not damaged.
“The trooper was operating the vehicle in a safe and prudent manner and in accordance with dignitary protection training. The trooper driving the vehicle will not be disciplined as he did not violate departmental policies or procedures,” Sgt. Alex Dinkla said in an email.
Governor Reynolds has not reached out to Cavil following the incident that took place on June 30 but previously met with him on two separate occasions when he and other group members met with her to urge her to sign the executive order.
Cavil was there that day to once again urge Reynolds to sign the order when he was struck by the SUV. Reynolds has agreed to sign the order by late summer or early fall, but protesters want it to happen sooner.
Cavil is upset that Reynolds has not reached out to him considering the fact her vehicle hit him and finds it “pretty troubling and concerning and disheartening.”
“Folks in the state of Iowa should really be concerned about the sheer lack of accountability that we’re seeing and the exceptionalism that we’re giving to Gov. Reynolds,” he said. “Because if it was me or anyone else who was driving a car or riding in a car that struck another person, that car can’t just drive away and everything be fine.”