DAVENPORT — Shattered glass, boarded-up businesses, and police sirens echoing throughout the city of Davenport from Sunday night into Monday morning were just a few examples of civil unrest that made its way into the Quad-Cities.
Davenport police said Monday that the chaos started around 10 p.m. Sunday and continued through the morning. In total, police responded to 45 “serious disturbance” calls, several shots fired calls and confirmed two homicides. Additionally, there was an officer-involved shooting, and one Davenport police officer was shot. Chief Paul Sikorski said that it was around 3 a.m. Monday when his officers were ambushed.
“All of the things that we responded to throughout the night were acts of violence,” Sikorski said.
A police vehicle carrying three officers was moving down an alley in a neighborhood in the city’s center when the occupants of another vehicle opened fire, Sikorski said. Several rounds struck the police vehicle and one officer was wounded. That officer is recovering at a hospital and in “good spirits,” he said.
Sikorski said they will not tolerate this violent behavior in the days ahead.
“I can tell you, we will be here,” Sikorski said. “Today, tomorrow, the next day, to make sure our community is safe. We will be here.”
The damage and violence are spread out throughout the city. First, two women got into a fight and sprayed pepper spray at one another at a Walmart near 53rd and Elmore Avenue. But police say this incident was unrelated to what was to come later in the evening.
Nearly 100 cars gathered at the NorthPark Mall, where rioters attempted to loot; they were unsuccessful but broke windows at several businesses.
Mayor Mike Matson and Sikorski held a joint press conference at sunrise on Monday, condemning the actions of agitators who attempted to wreak havoc across the city.
“Let me be clear, the incidents of last night were not about promoting justice,” Matson said. “And they were not about honoring the memory of George Floyd. Let it be known that the perpetrators of tonight’s activities will be held accountable for the damage and the harm that they caused.”
Scott County currently has a curfew in effect from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily until further notice. Across the Mississippi River, Rock Island County, Illinois, is also planning to enforce a countywide curfew.
Law enforcement throughout the Quad-City area, including the Clinton Police Department, assisted Davenport police. Clinton Police Chief Kevin Gyrion said his department is always willing to help out its neighbors whenever needed.
“They (Davenport Police) put out a basic call for assistance,” Gyrion said. “They didn’t request specific help from us, but we’re here to help our neighbors, and we were able to spare a couple of people.”
Matson also said he was going to reach out to Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and ask for the Iowa National Guard to help reinforce order in his city. At her press conference at the State Capitol on Monday, Reynolds said she will support the mayor in every way possible.
“Last night, in Scott County, a Davenport police officer was shot and injured while on duty,” Reynolds said. “This violence is unacceptable. I’ve spoken with the mayor of Davenport and offered the full support of the state.”
Reynolds said the National Guard is standing ready when and if that time comes.