Dr. Vershawn Ashanti Young, a University of Iowa professor of African-American Studies and Rhetoric organized a forum on racial issues in Iowa City that was to be held at the Iowa City public library. According to the Iowa City Press-Citizen, Young said he is interested in discussing issues that he said are not directly tied to, but are related to, the death of 26-year-old transient John Deng. Deng was shot by a Johnson County Deputy after stabbing another man on July 26.
However, according to Donald Baxter who attended the discussion, the group, at his instigation, marched to the City Hall and had the discussion there. The Cedar Rapids Gazette reported that 30 or so people met at Iowa City's City Hall to discuss the killing of John Bior Deng, the homeless man who was shot by Johnson County deputy Terry Stotler during an altercation between Deng and Iowa City resident John Bohnenkamp outside a bar on Prentiss St. last Friday.
At the meeting, participants questioned whether race played a role in the shooting. Deng is black and Stotler is white. They also wanted to know more about the fight between Deng and Bohnenkamp and asked why Stotler didn’t try only to wound Deng. Young said “All the community is asking for is a liaison, a conversation.”
So far the investigation has been conducted with limited information being provided to the press and public. As of yesterday, County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek has not released transcripts of the 911 calls about the incident or commented on the ongoing investigation.