UPDATED 10:56 p.m.
PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — In an emergency news conference Sunday night at the state Capitol in Pierre, Gov. Kristi Noem announced 70 South Dakota National Guard members are assisting the Sioux Falls Police Department enforce a state of emergency issued in Sioux Falls from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Noem said 26 guard members from a Sioux Falls-based unit and another 44 are from a military police specialized unit to respond in situations like the event at the Empire Mall. Members of the South Dakota Highway Patrol are also assisting local authorities.
Noem said the National Guard will stay as long as necessary. She said the state is prepared for several different locations across the state but wouldn’t give specifics for “security reasons.”
Noem said the state was preparing for the worst. She said she welcomed the peaceful protests, but when it got violent, the state was ready to take action.
“Within minutes of the activation order, they were on the ground in Downtown Sioux Falls and shifting resources to the mall,” Noem said. “We take the protection of rights very seriously, including the right to peacefully protest. Rioting and looting will not be tolerated in South Dakota.”
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem issued a statement on the nationwide unrest over the past several days on Sunday.
You can see the full statement below.
“We take the protection of people’s rights very seriously, as we’ve demonstrated over the last several months, including the right to peacefully protest,” Gov. Noem said. “Make no mistake, mob rule and violence do nothing to honor the memory of victims. If asked, the state stands ready to assist local authorities to ensure everyone’s rights are protected. Rioting and looting, like we’ve seen in other cities and states, will not be tolerated in South Dakota.”