South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem activated the National Guard to assist the City of Sioux Falls with protestors shortly before 10pm Sunday night. Mayor Paul Tenhaken signed a Declaration of Emergency which included a 10:00 PM curfew for all Sioux Falls residents after violence broke out at the Empire Mall. That curfew remained in effect until 7:00 AM Monday morning.
Earlier in the day, an alert was sent out to business owners advising them that three buses were enroute to Sioux Falls from Fargo to protest. The alert encouraged owners and businesses to bring tables, chairs, signs or anything that could be thrown through a window inside for the evening. That was an ominous warning of what was to come later in the evening.
Mayor TenHaken said there was evidence of outside protesters. However, he said, there were a lot of faces he recognized from Sioux Falls also…..
Governor Noem said she had hoped for the best but the state had prepared for the worst after watching protests across the country. She said she activated the National Guard, who was on-standby, the minute things began to turn violent.
The governor says the guard unit that was mobilized is a specialized unit trained to handle these types of incidents…..
Noem reiterated a point she had made earlier in the day, by saying that rioting and looting would not be tolerated in South Dakota...
No injuries were immediately reported. There were reports of gunshots being fired in the city, broken windows, damaged police vehicles and at least two businesses that had been broken into during the protest. Sioux Falls Police tweeted at 11:17 PM last night that “there is a lot of video surveillance of those committing numerous crimes. We will identify those that committed the crimes and they will be held accountable for their actions.”