About two dozen members of the Des Moines black community went to the capitol yesterday to ask legislators to respond to a black man’s death. Charles Lovelady died in February in a bouncer’s chokehold during a dispute over clothing worn to a Des Moines bar. Representative Wayne Ford of Des Moines, Iowa’s only black legislator, is trying to pass a law which would direct all Iowa cities to consider “bouncer education” ordinances. Ako Abdul-Samad is director of the youth program “Creative Visions” in Des Moines and he was in the House balcony yesterday, watching debate on the issue. He says the whole state of Iowa is under indictment and has to respond. There was some parliamentary maneuvering — and promises Ford’s original bill will be voted on today. Abdul-Samad wants action. He says the lay person doesn’t care about politics, they care about results.The kids Abdul-Samad brought along applauded one legislator’s speech, only to be rebuked by House Speaker Brent Siegrist, as applause is not allowed during House debate. This week, some Des Moines nightclub owners changed their dress code policies and now will allow “FUBU” clothing made by and marketed to blacks. Critics said the previous policy was intended to keep blacks out of the clubs.
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