Iowa DNR Clears Officers of Wrongdoing in September Court Avenue Arrest

DES MOINES, Iowa  —  The Iowa DNR says two of its officers didn’t violate any agency policies when they arrested two women on Court Avenue in September.

The two officers were in uniform near Court Avenue on the evening of September 19th when they intervened in a fight between two women, Latisha Johnson and Kathryn Kesler.   Cellphone video of the scene recorded by a bystander shows one of the officers, Travis Graves, delivered two elbow blows to Johnson’s head.  He then pepper-sprayed Johnson.

The two officers were placed on administrative leave by the DNR after the incident.  On Thursday the DNR announced an internal investigation into the officers’ action cleared both of wrongdoing.

The Iowa DNR has concluded an internal investigation into the incident on September 20th involving two DNR Conservation Officers, determining no violation of current DNR policies. Due to concerns raised during the investigation, the Iowa DNR plans to review our policies to ensure they fully reflect the expectations of conservation officers.

The two officers, Travis Graves and Derrick Slutts, were in Des Moines September 19-20 attending a training and when they were performing job related duties, they drove upon an ongoing fight between two women on Court Avenue. The officers intervened and broke up the fight. Both women were arrested and charged.

DNR Conservation Officers are sworn state peace officers in the State of Iowa.

Both Johnson and Kesler were charged with Public Intoxication and Disorderly Conduct.  Johnson was also charged with Interference with Official Acts.

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