PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem says she’s heard the message from protesters across South Dakota speaking out against George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis while in police custody.
She says now it is time to work together to problem solve when it comes to issues of injustice and concerns about policing.
“There is no one who thinks what happened to George Floyd was okay,” Noem said.
Noem says free speech is one of the most fundamental rights; however, she says there is no place for violence and trying to push fear in these discussions.
Noem says she was disappointed to see Confederate flags flying in opposition to the peaceful protests.
There are a couple of suggestions coming forward for changes to policing in the state, Noem said. She says the state is sitting down with an open mind during these discussions and Noem acknowledged there are always two sides to every policy decision. She says she will listen to both sides.
Noem says she is open to looking at requiring police body camera footage to being released. She notes not all police departments in South Dakota have that tool and it would need to be a change from the legislature.
Noem says there haven’t been any requests to send the South Dakota National Guard out of state.
Noem says the National Guard is only sent to South Dakota towns to work in support of local police; units are still activated in Sioux Falls, Rapid City and Pierre.
The Highway Patrol plane has been used to monitor protests; Noem won’t say where it has been used as far as which cities.
Noem says there is no institution more important in South Dakota than families. She says the actions of Sunday night in Sioux Falls show that we need to focus on strengthening families in the state. Parents need to know if their children are out throwing rocks at police, Noem said.