City Statement

Statement from Mayor and City Manager
Posted on 03/30/2021
April 21, 2021

Yesterday, our nation witnessed a judicial outcome that held a white police officer accountable for the murder of a black man who had been detained by that officer. We are heartened that other Police officers in his Police Department refused to support his murderous actions. We need to understand that yesterday was a moment in time. One action does not right the wrongs of 5 centuries. What it does do is set the course for justice, identify what police accountability must be. The real issue is that there should never need to be a trial like this, and yet unjustified killings of people of color continues.

As we are proud of our nation that at last we got it right, we are devastated when horrific actions by police leave people of color dead and injured. Let us commit to the end of these atrocities.

In Des Moines, we are committed to doing the right thing. To not using excessive force and to being accountable if ever there comes a time when police actions are questioned or result in harm to anyone. We seek to be a city that is part of the solution and not part of the problem. We are proud to note that our police department is reform minded and has already taken steps to ensure we are in compliance with National and State Police Reform recommendations as well as recommendations for reform brought forward by community groups in our state.

We are grateful to the jury and witnesses who did the right thing. We commit to following their example and holding justice and accountability as the highest order of conduct in our city and society.

Matt Pina Michael Matthias
Mayor City Manager