Des Moines police are trying to determine what led to a series of attacks outside the Iowa State Fairgrounds over the weekend that included the assault of two police officers.
At least three people were arrested Friday through early Monday morning. Other arrests may occur as officers investigate the incidents, officials said.
There are indications that some of the fights – which appear to involve mostly teenagers and young adults – were racially motivated, police said.
“We don’t know if this was juveniles fighting or a group of kids singling out white citizens leaving the fairgrounds,” Sgt. Lori Lavorato said. “It’s all under investigation, but it’s very possible it has racial overtones.”
Officials announced last week that they were stepping up security outside the fairgrounds after a series of attacks Aug. 14 that included a pair of stabbings. Investigators are still investigating those assaults and victims intend to pursue charges.
Sgt. David Murillo stated in a report on Friday night, “On-duty officers at the fairgrounds advise there was a group of 30 to 40 individuals roaming the fairgrounds openly calling it ‘beat whitey night.'”