Woman found not guilty of assaulting Iowa trooper at protest

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An 18-year-old civil rights activist has been found not guilty of assaulting an Iowa State Trooper during protests at the Capitol in Des Moines.

Josie Mulvihill, of Des Moines, was charged after a confrontation with trooper Dylan Hernandez during a “Kill the Racist Bills” protest on April 8. She was found not guilty on Tuesday.

She was accused of grabbing and pushing the officer and of intending to offend Hernandez by criticizing law enforcement after her arrest.

Mulvihill, a vocal advocate for the local Black Liberation Movement, said she tapped Hernandez on his arm to get his attention, and he responded by handcuffing her, throwing her to the ground and putting a knee on her back.

The Des Moines Register reported that video of the encounter does not appear to show Mulvihill push or grab Hernandez, but she is briefly out of the picture. The video does show Hernandez handcuffing Mulvihill and forcing her to the ground.

The focus of the trial was on Iowa’s law, which requires an assault to be an act intended to cause pain or injury, or intended to result in a physical contact that will be offensive to another.