Anyone in Iowa City who has tuned in to the news over the last year knows that there has been a huge increase in the scrutiny that police officers nationwide are facing for their interactions with citizens -- particular African Americans. In some cases, police officers face criminal penalties for their conduct, like the excessive use of force.
A recent incident in Iowa City has not been thrust into the national spotlight, yet. But, it did prompt local law enforcement to change their policy on the use of force during an interaction with a potential criminal suspect. According to the reports, an incident that occurred back in June was caught on video. The incident involved a confrontation between an Iowa City police officer and a black teenager.
Apparently, the encounter began when the police officer attempted to get a group of juveniles to leave a recreation center, where they were on a stairwell and near a restroom. Many of the juveniles complied with the officer's request, but it appears that one male juvenile did not. The video recording shows the police officer moving quickly to grab the juvenile's arm, and take him to the ground.
Many people who work in the criminal justice system face danger every day, but none more so than patrol officers. Caution is a given for police officers, but in the review of this case, the Iowa City Police Department apparently determined that more could have been done before force was used. As a result, the police department's policy is now to use more de-escalation techniques before force is employed.
Source: KWWL, "Teen's arrest prompts Iowa City Police policy change," Justin Andrews, July 25, 2015