Protesters gather in downtown Washington

The group chanted outside of Dodici Night Suites, where Gov. Kim Reynolds was staying.

Protesters in Washington outside of Dodici Cafe (Caitlin Yamada/ The Union)
Protesters in Washington outside of Dodici Cafe (Caitlin Yamada/ The Union)

Protesters chanted outside of Dodici’s Monday night with belief that Gov. Kim Reynolds was staying at the suites.

At around 10 p.m. on Monday, dozens of protesters arrived outside of Dodici Night Suites chanting. Chants such as “no justice, no peace,” “come out Kim,” “sign or resign” and more echoed through the downtown area. Protesters were loud but peaceful.

A variety of law enforcement were at the scene including Washington Police, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa State Patrol and Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) Police. A few wore body armor and helmets, but most were in uniforms or plain clothes. The officers stood in line between the protesters and the building.

Cafe Dodici’s Proprietor Lorraine Williams said Kassidy Krause, assistant to the governor, called last Friday to set up a meeting between Reynolds and the restaurant.

Williams confirmed Reynolds and the Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg visited to discuss how COVID-19 has impacted small businesses and stayed at the Dodici Night Suites.

“Tonight at Café Dodici we dined with Gov. Kim Reynolds, Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, and two members of their staff,” Williams said in a post on the Cafe Dodici Facebook page.

The Southeast Iowa Union has reached out to the governor’s office for a comment with no response.

Protesters took a moment of silence and lay on the ground in front of the police, some with their hands behind their backs.

At one point during the protest, a firework was set off near the area. Protesters asked why the police were not investigating.

At 11:30 p.m., the police asked protesters to leave citing a state code on disorderly conduct. Washington Police Chief Jim Lester said the request to disburse came because the gathering was blocking streets and residents live in the square.

Lester said the assembly was peaceful, and the protesters left before midnight.