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UPDATE: Four charged with rioting, Eight Coralville businesses damaged overnight

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UPDATE -- Owner and operator of Coral Ridge Mall, Brookfield Properties Retail, says they closed the mall early today at 6 pm "as not to jeopardize the safety of our customers."

The Coralville Police Department said they received several reports of damage and some looting Sunday night.

Coralville Police Chief, Shane Kron issued a statement that said, "The killing of George Floyd was unjust, we believe that and share in the grief and outrage of this country. We will respect and protect people’s rights to demonstrate and be heard. I think we would even join them if we get the opportunity. But, we also have to try not to get people hurt and protect property."

JOHNSON COUNTY, Iowa (KWWL) -- At least four people were arrested last night or early this morning in Johnson County and charged with rioting, five more were arrested on charges related to burglaries and thefts.

15 people were recently booked in the Johnson County Jail, at least four of them are in connection with a protest in Coralville last night for the death of George Floyd.

Protests erupted across Iowa over the weekend, including in Waterloo and Cedar Rapids where demonstrations remained peaceful overall.

Last night Coralville Police surrounded the Coral Ridge Mall where a nearby protest was taking place.

This morning, a KWWL crew located 8 businesses that had sustained damage overnight, including Smokin' Joes which was broken into and looted.

By this afternoon, at least two of the four people arrested on a riot charged have been released on bail. Some of the charges include rioting, assault on a peace officer, interference with official acts, criminal mischief, and trespass.

Five more people were arrested on charges such as burglary, theft, and interfering with official acts. It is unclear however, if all five were related to protests.

A handful of the damaged businesses are locally owned including an alteration shop, a nail salon, a small construction office, and a vape shop. A couple of business owners are minorities and said they were shocked to see the violence in their own communities.

Two of the business owners/managers, however, said they understand the outrage, agree with the need to protest but want everyone to be safe and refrain from violence.

KWWL News 7 has reached out to the Coralville Police Department regarding how many people were detained last night and the official number of damage reported, we are still waiting to hear back.

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Ashley Neighbor

Reporter, Cedar Rapids

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