Matthew Bruce, the organizer for Des Moines Black Lives Matter, was arrested on Wednesday morning for first degree criminal mischief.
His defense? The police vehicle, which was vandalized at Saturday’s riot at a Des Moines Hy-Vee, was a piece of art.
“That car was an artistic statement,” Bruce said. “It was a First Amendment statement. I think people seeing and know what the statement was – which is that we’re not going to let y’all treat us like this no more. So, when other people who are racist seen that statement, that black people are not going to be, you know, succumb to oppression anymore, they pressured the police department. I felt like this police department, because it responds to white supremacist sentiments, felt like they had to do something.”
Bruce also said that Des Moines Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Paul Parizek “deliberately lied” about the events that took place on Monday night.
“Parizek’s lying,” Bruce said. “He’s lying about everything that happened.”
Bruce speculated that DMPD retaliated because, in his words, they were humiliated on Saturday at the Hy-Vee riot.
“They locked themselves in a building that they were supposed to be protecting,” he said. “We could have destroyed that building and they would’ve failed their mission, which was to protect Hy-Vee. They got humiliated, thoroughly.”
Bruce said police must be defunded.
“There’s no way to reform racist structures. There’s no way to reform racist violence. You can’t put measures in front of it to make it sanitary. We’ve got to take away their ability to legally do this stuff,” Bruce said.