Noem: Criminals, not protesters, in mall area

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Governor Kristi Noem is in Sioux Falls as a result of the violent protesting Sunday night at the Empire Mall.

She started off by saying that protests have a purpose.

Noem further went on to say the city of Sioux Falls started with a peaceful protest, but she said the people who went to the Empire Mall were not protesters, they were violent criminals.

Properties were destroyed, stores were looted and vandalized, the Governor added. Many businesses in and around the mall had rocks thrown at them, breaking windows. Officers also had rocks being thrown at them.

No serious injuries were reported, but Noem says every injury is serious. She also said the rioting near and around the mall was a stark difference compared to the march for George Floyd that occurred earlier Sunday.

“There’s no other governor that have trusted their people more than I have,” Noem said.

SD Gov. Kristi Noem

Noem asked for everyone to work together.

Mayor Paul TenHaken joined Gov. Noem. He said South Dakota has very pro-law enforcement leadership.

“Peaceful protest is our constitutional right,” TenHaken said, “but when it crosses that line we are ready to act.”

TenHaken says they will be prosecuting. The city of Sioux Falls is ready to provide support according to the Mayor. He also said city officials are willing to support other cities across the state.

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