SFPD aware, ready to assist in planned weekend protests

Local News

UPDATED 12:51 p.m.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken and Sioux Falls Police Department Chief Matt Burns each released statements in response to the death of George Floyd.

Mayor TenHaken said he was “shocked by the video footage and saddened by the death of Mr. Floyd.”

He added “Sioux Falls is fortunate to have an incredible police department.”

Chief Burns said police continue to follow the situation in Minneapolis and said SFPD officers are regular trained for “safe, respectful due process and proper arrest protocols.”

You can see the full statement below.

11:21 a.m.

The Sioux Falls Police Department is aware of planned protests this weekend in the city.

Details about two events have been posted on social media.

An event organized by South Dakotans Against Racism will take place Saturday at 41st Street and Minnesota Avenue at 2 p.m. Organizers are encouraging a socially distanced protest “for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and other Black, Brown, Native folks killed by police due to systematic racism.”

Another group plans a march on Sunday at 5 p.m. at 9th Street and Main Avenue to “stand as one community to fight racism and call for the Minneapolis Police Department to prosecute the officers involved with the MURDER of George Floyd.” The social media post doesn’t identify the organizers.

These protests come just days after racist graffiti was found at Falls Park in Sioux Falls.

At Friday’s police briefing, SFPD spokesman Sam Clemens said police have been in contact with one of the event organizers and added there was no plan to have extra officers for the protests.

Clemens said the right to peacefully assemble is guaranteed by the First Amendment. Groups are asked to get assembly permits from the Sioux Falls Police Department.

“We want to make sure everybody is safe while that protest is taking place,” Clemens said.

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