Amid the national unrest in the wake of the death of George Floyd, demonstrators and law enforcement are often shown in opposition. But that is not always the case- and it wasn’t Sunday night in Sioux Falls.
Bailey Alberda and Logan Schmidt are proud to have been part of the peaceful demonstration Sunday in downtown Sioux Falls. They also marched to the Empire Mall, where the peaceful protest took an unexpected turn.
“They threw a rock at a cop, and then things kind of got a little violent,” Schmidt said.
“When I first got there, there was a guy, and he was just taking these huge rocks and throwing them at the police, and he was one of the first people I saw just smash the windows, and we went up to him, and we were like, ‘Excuse me, this is for peace. This is not the time to be violent,'” Alberda said.
The two took part in a human barricade between law enforcement and those who weren’t peaceful.
“Most of the time we just had our hands in the air and just tried to deflect things that were kind of coming,” Schmidt said. “Me and Bailey kind of communicated to each other to make sure that if we saw a rock, make sure kind of deflecting that, water bottles, deflect them.”
“I have the privilege to say something, people are going to listen to me because of my skin color,” Alberda said. “I have the responsibility of having my voice at least in unity with the black people up there as well, protecting and in that human shield.”
Their words and their actions didn’t go unnoticed.
“That group of protestors who stood in front of us, arms linked, that’s the Sioux Falls I know, right, and that’s the Sioux Falls we know,” Sioux Falls Police Department Lieutenant Jon Thum said.
And those two peaceful protesters are proud to call the city home.