Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement has released a 30-second video showing a statehouse confrontation between members of the group and a state legislator. A CCI member has been charged with simple assault in connection with the March 12 incident.
The video, which is a bit out of focus, begins by showing a crowd of chanting CCI members surrounding Republican Representative Greg Forristall as he tried to get into a statehouse elevator to get away from them. When that didn’t work, Forristall walked to a nearby office door. The video shows CCI member Joe Fagan walking in front of Forristall — facing the legislator at times — as the pair moved from the elevator to the door of a private office.
A spokesman for the activist group says the video is “clear evidence” Fagan is not guilty of assaulting the legislator and they’re demanding an apology from Forristall. The head of capitol police says someone can be found guilty of simple assault without any physical contact if the victim fears it may occur. Under Iowa law, assault is defined as “any act…intended to place another in fear of immediate physical contact which will be painful, injurious, insulting, or offensive, coupled with the apparent ability to execute the act.”
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement accuses Forristall of filing the complaint to divert attention from his decision as a committee chairman to kill a bill that dealt with so-called “wage theft.”