RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) —Last night saw another peaceful protest in Rapid City demanding justice for George Floyd, the black man who died when a Minneapolis officer pressed a knee on his neck for several minutes. Rapid City police did arrest five people because they were reportedly blocking traffic and laying down in the road.
Over the last few nights, protesters have gathered in front of the courthouse and Main Street Square. That’s right across from Neugebaures Jewelry store.
“So far we haven’t been closing early but it hasn’t been happening until after we close. Now, if that starts to change then we will obviously need to start making some changes. Not only for the safety of our store and employees but also for our customers,” Barbara Baumann, owner of Neugebauers Jewelry Design and Service, said.
On Monday night, June 1, the city council passed a resolution giving authority to the mayor to declare an emergency and issue a curfew. Now, several businesses have decided to shut their doors a little bit earlier than normal and some businesses have decided to barricade their windows.
“We also have to plan for the worst. We have seen these protests even in South Dakota and we have felt the last three nights of protests are getting to be closer to be getting out of hand,” Mayor Steve Allender said.
Mayor Allender says several times they’ve seen different people infiltrate the protest group and try to take over.
“Last night as I was listening to one of the people live-streaming, one of the original organizers, I heard fear in their voice. I heard disappointment. I heard them pleading with the crowd to remain peaceful and don’t let this get carried away and then I head this person conclude that control had been lost,” Mayor Allender said.
Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender says the extra staffing of law enforcement is costing tens of thousands of dollars a day which comes from taxpayer money.