Boone community members march for the Black Lives Matter movement


More than 200 community members in Boone marched down Story Street to protest police brutality. The meeting place was at the intersection of Story Street and Eighth Street in front of a Donald Trump mural. The event took place Monday evening. 

Mia Wang

More than 200 Boone community members participated in a 1 mile march in the name of George Floyd and other Black victims of police brutality. 

The event’s primary organizer is a recent high school graduate, Megan Poole. She said she wants to make a change in the Boone community because she was discriminated against growing up. 

“I was the only nonwhite kid in my school, so I was treated very unfairly, even by the teachers and the principal,” Poole said. “To see this many people come together and do all of this in this little town, Boone against all the people that are against this protest and against Black Lives Matter is amazing.”

The crowd met at the intersection of Story Street and Eighth Street at 6 p.m. Monday. They marched for 1 mile while chanting “Black Lives Matter,” “No justice, no peace” and “remember his name.” Throughout the march, free beverages were provided to the participants. 

Steve Pickett is a Boone resident and one of the event’s attendees. He said unfair treatment has been his life, so he came out to support this movement.

“My whole life, I’ve been harassed or just put into a box I don’t fit,” Pickett said. “Growing up, my parents taught me this fear of police. Everything that’s been going on over the time is the same. People keep dying but nothing happens.” 

Pickett said he hasn’t had any negative experience with the Boone Police Department, but that’s not the case in all the cities in Iowa. 

“I was walking down the street and was asked if I was selling drugs in Newton,” Pickett said. “And I got stopped on my first day of work and told I was trying to break into the gas station. My boss had to prove it for me, but they still wanted to run my name. It’s an ongoing thing.” 

Pickett also added that events like this are a good sign.

“To see more people of different races showing up here and all wanting the same thing is heartwarming,” Pickett said. “It makes you feel good.”

The other organizer of the march was A’Ja Lyons, a graduate student in English at Iowa State. She said Boone is an “extremely conservative” city. 

“There is a strong Democratic community but they are still more middle-of-the-road Centrist,” Lyons said. “There are not as many vocal Black people here. I think many of us feel unsafe to talk or we are apathetic or there are a small number who are also extremely conservative and are Trump supporters and agree with the racist ideology.”

Lyons said the event’s turnout is a message to all the people. 

“It really sends a message to both sides,” Lyons said. “It shows the people who need support that you have it here and it shows the people who oppose what we’re fighting for that you are not this big army that’s going to crush us, and we’re not going down without a fight.”