Des Moines police and state patrol troopers arrested 17 Black Lives Matter protesters at the Iowa Capitol Wednesday afternoon.

Des Moines Police Sergeant Paul Parizek said officers arrested three activists inside the building on charges related to a June 20th protest at a Des Moines Hy-Vee.

“It was when they tried to walk those prisoners out of the state capitol to the wagon that the crowd swarmed them,” Parizek said.

Parizek said a protester tried to block officers’ path and police moved to arrest that person. A protester told WHO-TV police were the aggressors. Protesters tried to pull their peers away from other officers making arrests.

One protester jumped on an officer’s back. Pepper spray was used during the melee. The state patrol gave a dispersal order and the remaining protesters left.

(By Iowa Public Radio’s Katarina Sostaric)