Protesters interrupted a Pete Buttigieg event in Des Moines, Iowa on Sunday. Video from the event showed multiple demonstrators wearing Black Lives Matter shirts being led out by security while chanting "anti-black, anti-poor."
Pete Buttigieg gets a question on net neutrality in Des Moines, IA jokes, "I'd like to say I'm neutral on net neutrality, but I'm not neutral on net neutrality-- I strongly favor it, and I believe we need to establish it as the law of the land."— DJ Judd (@DJJudd) January 13, 2020
The chant was seen as a rip against Buttigieg who has struggled for much of the campaign connecting to Black voters.
While discussing Buttigieg took the interruption, calling on all discussions to be held respectfully. But protesters were removed while Buttigieg supporters chanted "USA! USA!" The protestors continued to chant "Black lives matter" in response.
"I think your facts are a little wrong, so I'd love a chance with you to talk about it," Buttigieg responded. "But I'd like for us to talk about it respectfully. Can we agree that we can talk about this respectfully?"
This incident comes amid a string of protests from Black Lives Matter activists, largely centering on the treatment of the Black community in his own city of South Bend, Indiana. In the city last month, 44-year-old Anthony Young died of hypothermia outside on a downtown path, according to the South Bend Tribune.
“We haven’t seen Mayor Pete in a while. I’m surprised he’s here at a shelter [in Los Angeles] and not in South Bend at a shelter. We miss his face,” Kahmiil Middleton, 22, of South Bend said to the Los Angeles Times. “We understand that he’s campaigning, but when you’re mayor, you have a job to do. He did not make that his priority.”
Despite the seeming connection to the Black Lives Matter group, it is unknown if the group is from South Bend or locally unaffiliated as the National Black Lives Matter organization list no Iowa chapters on their website.