Davenport mayor understands reasons for anger and frustration

4 The Record

Mike Matson supports efforts to address injustice

This emotional year only got more emotional over the last couple of weeks across the country and in the Quad Cities — Davenport specifically.​

There’s the pressure of the pandemic.​

Then came the recent death of George Floyd in Minnesota at the hands of police.​

that brought a wide range of reactions locally.​

A march a week ago Saturday from LeClaire Park to the Scott County Courthouse, marred by people who threw rocks through the courthouse windows.

Sunday brought a demonstration that got out of hand at the Walmart in Davenport on Kimberly Road.

A woman shot to death in a car as she was starting to leave.

Most of the Quad Cities area wound up under a curfew for days to prevent any more violence.​

Businesses like these in downtown Rock Island boarded their windows to stop any looting.​

Things stayed relatively quiet under the curfew.​

Arguably the most emotional moment came Thursday evening in central Davenport.

More than a thousand people showed up at Vander Veer Park to support a Black Lives Matter rally.​

People chanted and held signs.

Police, in lockstep with the crowd, kneeled as a show of support for the cause.

Then there’s the ongoing pressure from the pandemic.​

More businesses reopened in Davenport over the last couple of weeks as the governor lifted restrictions.​

Several had been closed for months.​

That alone won’t be enough to cure the economic pain.​

That’s a lot for Davenport.​

All of this happened in the first few months of Mayor Mike Matson’s tenure.

I had a conversation with the mayor about all of this on Thursday, a couple of hours before the rally.​

Matson ran for office and took office with the typical challenges we see in the Quad Cities in front of you: Crime, economic development and flood prevention, for example.​

Then came the pandemic and upheaval after the death of George Floyd.​

Matson described his experience personally in his first few months.

This week the national demonstrations in response to Floyd’s death reached the QC.

There is anger and frustration in the African American community.​ There was a news conference with the local chapter of the NAACP.​

Matson explained what he thinks can be done to address it in the short and long-term in conjunction with police.

​Watch the full conversation in the video above.

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