A late afternoon peaceful protest went from calm to an evening of volatility Sunday as protesters moved from the downtown Sioux Falls area to the Empire Mall. With the violence, Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken issued a State of Emergency. A curfew was put in place and then later extended until 7:00 AM Monday morning. Protesters had gathered at Van Epps Park near downtown Sioux Falls in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem activated the National Guard to immediately assist with the violent riots in Sioux Falls.

“We take the protection of people’s rights very seriously, as we’ve demonstrated over the last several months, including the right to peacefully protest,” said Governor Noem. “Make no mistake, mob rule and violence do nothing to honor the memory of victims. If asked, the state stands ready to assist local authorities to ensure everyone’s rights are protected. Rioting and looting, like we’ve seen in other cities and states, will not be tolerated in South Dakota.”

Dakota News Now reports that around 9:30 PM, rocks were thrown at businesses and police outside the mall. Shortly after, police in riot gear converged on the area. Glass at businesses was shattered, and Mayor TenHaken confirmed looting in the area. Police deployed tear gas multiple times over the next hour and a half. They also used rubber bullets on several protesters.

The only exception to the curfew in effect is for people going to and from work and seeking emergency services.

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