SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken quickly distinguished two different events in Sioux Falls Sunday — one a peaceful protest in Downtown Sioux Falls and one caused by what the mayor called “bad actors.”
In an emergency news conference last Sunday night, TenHaken announced a city-wide curfew starting at 10 p.m. Sunday until 7 a.m.
“This is not a joke,” TenHaken said. “We will not stand for this level of lawlessness in our city. … This is not the event the organizers envisioned.”
TenHaken confirmed Sioux Falls police have used chemical agents like tear gas to try and disperse crowds. Police reported rocks have been thrown at officers and windows on police cars have been broken.
TenHaken did say there was some evidence of outside groups, but he also said he saw many Minnehaha County and Lincoln County license plates. He said many of the people at the mall were wearing T-shirts from local high schools. He called on parents to get kids who are out home.
“That makes my heart hurt. That’s what makes me disgusted. These are kids that live here,” TenHaken said. “It’s embarrassing. They should be embarrassed that they’re doing this to their city. … These are crimes of opportunity.”
TenHaken said he didn’t want what was happening later at night to take away from the peaceful protest. He said the goal Sunday night is to stop any larger issues.
“It’ll be a long night,” TenHaken said.