CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — One person was injured after witnesses say a truck ran into a peaceful protest as it was ending in Cedar Rapids.
Hundreds of protesters had gathered June 24 near downtown Cedar Rapids after the Supreme Court announced the overturn of Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that effectively legalized abortion in the United States for nearly 50 years.
Holding signs reading “My body, my choice,” “Abortion is health care,” “Bans off our bodies” and more, demonstrators stood along Eighth Avenue at Second Street SE, across from the federal courthouse, before marching through downtown Cedar Rapids.
Cedar Rapids police said the protester was injured while crossing a street as the group returned to the starting point.
According to police, shortly after 7:15 p.m. — nearly two hours after the event began — the pedestrian was injured by contact with a vehicle around Eighth Avenue and Second Street SE.
“Preliminary investigations indicate a group of protesters were attempting to legally cross the street in front of the Federal Courthouse when the traffic lights changed, giving right of way to vehicles on 8th Avenue,” the report stated. “Following verbal confrontations between the protestors and a driver, contact was made between a vehicle and one of the pedestrians.”
The injured pedestrian was taken by private vehicle to a local hospital for evaluation. Police said injuries appeared to be minor and are canvasing the scene to obtain potential surveillance video.
In 2021, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the Republican-led “Back the Blue” law, which, among other changes, granted civil immunity to drivers who injure a protester blocking a roadway while engaging in disorderly conduct or participating in a protest without a permit, as long as the driver used “due care” and wasn’t engaged in reckless or willful misconduct.
See photos from the Cedar Rapids march for gun reform earlier this month and more from the June 24 demonstration, below: