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NEWS 6.11.21: Police Review, Pence Coming to Siouxland, Drought, and More

The Sioux City Police released a review of a “use of force” incident at Perkins and found the officers involved acted within the department’s policies.

A video circulating on Facebook in late April showed a struggle between officers and a Black man.

A few days later, the police department released body camera footage from all officers on the scene. Investigators say the man was asked to leave the restaurant and refused and resisted arrest. At one point, the man was pushed into a booth with an officer pointing a taser at him.

Police Chief Rex Mueller met with community leaders and advocates surrounding the encounter.

A news release says the implementation of body cameras helps officer performance and improves training and the quality of service provided by the department. However, no information was released of what, if any, additional training would be provided to the officers involved with the Perkins incident.

A spokesperson for the police department says court records show the man involved in the incident, John Wright, pleaded guilty to charges in the case.

He initially faced charges of trespassing, interference with official acts, and failure to comply with the order of a peace officer. One officer ended up with a shoulder injury.

News release from the Sioux City Police Department:

The review into the arrest of John Wright on April 29 has been completed and the officers involved were found to have acted within policy.

It is the policy of the Sioux City Police Department to review any time an officer uses force or uses a show of force. Supervisors, watch commanders, bureau commanders, and the chief review the officers reports, available camera footage, and available witness statements. These reviews ensure that officers act within department policy and also within the values and standards of the department and the community we serve.

These reviews are not only to correct officers when needed but to also provide valuable feedback to help officers improve their performance. These reviews also occur when officers have exchanges with the public that may raise citizen concerns.  

Commanding officers and the Professional Standards section, which oversees training, develop training plans for the individual officers and the department as a whole based on these internal reviews. I do not have any details on what training these officers may be provided as a result of this internal review at this time. The data and information collected from these reviews are analyzed to determine if training should be focused on the individual officer or the department as whole. These reviews and the implementation of body-worn cameras has helped the department improve training provided to officers. This in turn improves officer performance and the quality of service we provide as a department.

The union that had threatened to strike at a Smithfield pork processing plant in Sioux Falls says it has reached a tentative agreement with the company on a four-year contract. Union members had rejected a previous contract proposal and authorized a strike. Union leaders say its members will vote on the proposed contract next week. The company dropped plans to take away a 15-minute break and  both sides reached an agreement on wages. The plant was the site of a deadly COVID-19 outbreak.


The Iowa Department of Public health added 11 more deaths due to COVID-19 for a total of 6,095 since the start of the pandemic.

There are 73 hospitalized patients with the virus in the state. Over the last 24 hours, 12 people have been hospitalized due to COVID-19. Local numbers are no longer being released through Siouxland District Health due to a recent decline in numbers.

Former Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to visit Iowa next month. 

Pence will headline a picnic for U.S. Representative Randy Feenstra on July 16.

The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Dean Family Classic Car Museum in Sioux Center. 

Highway 71 in Spirit Lake was closed this morning to a fire. A post on Twitter by emergency management officials in Dickinson County says people should use Highway 86 between Milford and Spirit Lake instead.

Even with today’s rain, the U.S. Drought Monitor shows 90% of Iowa is facing some kind of dryness or drought.

A representative from the Iowa DNR tells Radio Iowa there is an area of concern in northwest Iowa and dry areas to our north are impacting results downstream.

More than 30% of the state rated as abnormally dry, 47% rated as in moderate drought and 10% rated as severe drought.

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