Mayor TenHaken and the SFPD handled the situation well last night

I agree with Paul that the protest in the afternoon had very little to do with the one at night. If the SFPD, Mayor and National Guard made any missteps, they should have broken up the walking crowd before it got to the Mall (and before it got dark). Many in attendance in the march towards the Mall agreed. I also think when you are telling people in the morning five hours before the protest even started that there will be violence, you are kind of inviting it. As I suspected police chief Burns admitted today that this supposed bus load of hoodlums from Fargo never arrived, it was just empty threats on FB, which I pointed out yesterday. Most of the rioters were local latch key kids that should have been home while their parents are working 2nd or 3rd jobs. This is one of my fears about the pools being closed this summer, a lot of these kids will be up to ‘other’ things besides swimming.

Sioux Falls really hasn’t had this kind of violence since the scabs broke the union lines at John Morrells several years ago. From what I could tell it was just a bunch of young kids and hoodlums looking for something to do and very little to do with George Floyd’s death.

I still think that some of this was overblown, but the reaction by the SFPD and Mayor was legitimate and they handled the situation pretty good, especially the swat department to calm the situation ASAP. I think people freaking out about BS on Facebook, especially elected officials, should really do some investigation before telling the citizens there will violence in the streets. Sure, kids throwing rocks at cops isn’t cool, but it certainly wasn’t a combat zone. Some times our local elected officials need to just be cool headed about these things instead of saying the sky is falling.

I commend our National Guard, police force and Mayor’s office for calming the situation quickly. But next time, before you warn about potential violence in the streets, gather all your facts first. As I tell people all the time, Democracy dies in darkness, be truthful with the citizens and they will respond better next time. If anything I hope there was some lessons learned, and thank God no one was seriously hurt.


#1 "Very Stable Genius" on 06.01.20 at 8:54 pm

The story that is not being told about last night, is that the police at 41st and Louise channeled the protesters south onto Louise by blocking the opportunity for the protesters to have access to the east bound land of 41st.

Some of the protesters, as people started to head south, tried to get the crowd to continue west and towards the interstate in the west bound lane. But instead, the channeling of the protesters south ensued and made the mall more vulnerable.

How do I know this? Because I out biked the protesters and watched them approach the intersection of 41st and Louise.

What was also strange is that the police were already blocking off Louise at the southern edge of the mall area before the protester headed south, which would have, in my estimation, only further encouraged them to head for the mall.

One could argue that the mall would be safer than the interstate, but that also assumes you know who or what you are dealing with, and if there was any true intelligence involved in this, then why did the police encourage the movement towards the mall?

#2 "Very Stable Genius" on 06.01.20 at 8:57 pm

I might also add, that as I sat at 41st and Louise, I also saw a smaller group of the protesters head north on Louise. The police were definitely not encouraging a continuation west on 41st.

#3 Jannelle on 06.01.20 at 9:04 pm

Sorry Scott your hundred percent wrong in this one! Things should have never gotten as far as they did! And if anybody wants a resolution, if people are going to act like animals, if it’s good enough for endangered species, then in a situation with eight or nine people last night the kept antagonizing the police….I should have been shot with a tranquilizer gun let him lay until everyone’s gone and wake up in jail! Yep very humane won’t hurt them in the long run but takes care of the problem as it is! Defuses the problem as it is!!!! Just the facts!!!!

#4 D@ily Spin on 06.01.20 at 9:54 pm

This protest seems oriented on black lives matter but this city is a diverse dynamic of Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, asian, and middle eastern. Sioux Falls police refuse to use body cameras. There’s no proof blacks are abused any more than the rest of us. What’s evident is this is a deceptive organized national revolt.

If you want violence try cage fighting. If you want looting try shoplifting. If you have an issue with what happened in Minneapolis express yourself on the internet or move there. Do not vandalize retail and assault police here. Sioux Falls police do not kill people of any race. Not true for zoning approval building demolition downtown but that’s nearly forgotten.

#5 The Guy From Guernsey on 06.01.20 at 10:04 pm

Give proper credit to a solid number of participants who were determined to keep this gathering peaceful.
By joining arms in front of LEOs and chanting for peace / chiding against violence, they exacted their will on the situation in a couple of critical points at which things were poised to degrade to greater violence and deeper mayhem.
Without their influence to the situation, I don’t think it ends nearly as well as it did.

#6 Conservative Here on 06.01.20 at 10:10 pm

No matter what this Administration did or did not do, some are going to disagree. I have mixed feelings on it but, I would have liked to see the police put a stop to the whole thing once they started walking down the middle of Minnesota Ave after their permit expired. My thought on this is now they are disrupting others, putting people in harm’s way, and pouring gasoline on a fire. We have seen many across the country get run over, mob mentally take over where regular folks driving to a destination come upon a crowd unexpesctedly surrounding their car. People in the car get scared and don’t want to get Reginald Denny treatment so they hit the gas. This is a lose lose situation and we dodged a bullet but, we should never allow people to disrupt traffic like that it’s dangerous.

Once these clowns got to the mall, this appeared to be a different group of people. This first time a rock was thrown they should have arrested that person and shut it down. Anytime you decide to attack anyone you have to be prepared for the consequences, up and to including getting physically harmed. I think the police showed considerable restraint but, I wanted to see more action and some arrests but, I will settle for property damage I guess.

I do find it interesting that they didn’t touch downtown and my only guess is due to the efforts of this administration and the preparation of these small businesses to be prepared. I also think the fact that store owners hired armed guards and we’re armed themselves probably helped deter them. I did like the Top Hat putting up a sign stating they were inside armed.

#7 The Guy From Guernsey on 06.01.20 at 10:56 pm

If the objective was to keep the protesters from blocking I-29, it was a good move. High probability of injury or death with pedestrians on the road apron & vehicles approaching at 70 mph.
Why did police channel the crowd to the mall?
Whether a fortuitous accident or brilliant strategery, here are a couple of things which worked in the favor of SFPD as the crowd was directed to the area of the mall.
Only one front of defense was necessary. The attack toward the mall needed to come forward in a single direction. The police could focus on that in front of them.
Contrast this to a downtown environment, where the crowd is able to move back and forth across the street and the police are forced to defend on two fronts (both sides of the street) and for the entire length of street.
The parking lot is expansive. The crowd was able to spread out and some who would rather be passive spectators could place themselves at far rearward positions. The mob mentallity was more difficult to foment because things were more spread out.
Not many places to hide in the mall parking lot, either.
The wind was strong from the south all day on Sunday. The wind from the south carried the tear gas out into the crowd and across the gathering. Fortuitous accident? Brilliant strategery? Regardless, it was a substantial advantage to LEO. Perhaps the reason why access to the southern side of the mall was blocked? *
The ready availabilty of rocks would be a single item which wasn’t ideal with the site of the final stand.

* A conspiracy theorist might conjecture that the block on Louise Ave south was to prevent entry of the mob into Taupeville!

#8 The Guy From Guernsey on 06.01.20 at 11:02 pm

In before “Woodstock” with this musing, “say, did you notice that the Louise Ave KFC was left unscathed? There is a message there. Just not certain what the message is?”

#9 "Very Stable Genius" on 06.01.20 at 11:43 pm

Sorry, Woodstock would never say that, but some might.

As far as the Taupeville conspiracy, the thought of protesters walking through there would be scary, because it could cause mass confusion and possible mayhem as everything begins to look the same and incites, and spreads, a regionally unique and innate insanity. 😉

For what it’s worth, I actually followed them into the mall parking lot, and your comment:

“The parking lot is expansive. The crowd was able to spread out and some who would rather be passive spectators could place themselves at far rearward positions. The mob mentallity was more difficult to foment because things were more spread out”….

Is an incorrect assumption. The protesters first gathered in the middle of the parking lot parallel to the entrance for Dick’s and the Gap, and danced around a pickup which had large speakers and was playing loud music, then they ran towards the D and G entrance where the police had initially positioned themselves in front of, along with the police initially positioning themselves in front of the north JCPenney entrance as well.

CH, claims that an arrest should have been made with the first rocks, but that’s easier said, than done. At that time, you had between 700 to 1200 demonstrators versus an initial four or five squad cars and their officers.

There is definitely something to be said for having them channeled to the mall and not the interstate, but this strategy also afford authorities to test the intent of the crowd, while the peaceful take-over of the interstate would have been a classical example of civil disobedience.

Was this about safety over property, or hopefully making the protesters look bad, claiming safety, and knowing that property can be replaced?

Maybe I am reading too much into this, but they were channeled, to the mall.

#10 "Very Stable Genius" on 06.01.20 at 11:51 pm

“would have been a classical and ‘winning’ example of civil disobedience.”

#11 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 06.02.20 at 1:30 am

The mall is dead. It was a brilliant strategy. Chick-fil-A, however, would have been tragic.

#12 scott on 06.02.20 at 6:29 am

everyone on facebook was reposting matt paulson’s post that “city officials told me” there were 3 busses coming from fargo. did city officials really tell him that, or did he pull that out of his ass?

#13 D@ily Spin on 06.02.20 at 10:49 am

Can’t protest permits be denied unless/until the COVID pandemic is suppressed?
There wasn’t much video because police don’t have body cameras. If I were a juror deliberating who to find guilty for assault or looting, they’re all not guilty without police video evidence. The city built a convention center, an aquatic center, a parking highrise, and new schools we can’t use because of COVID. Future archaeologists will be puzzled. Body cameras don’t take junk bonds. Use some of what you pay councilors.

#14 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 06.02.20 at 11:01 am

Better yet, TGfG is right. The police intentionally channeled them to the landscaping rocks.

#15 Scott D Hudson on 06.02.20 at 11:29 am

Always love when people state an opinion but end it with “just the facts”.

#16 Disappointed But Not Surprised on 06.02.20 at 12:05 pm

In retrospect, maybe letting the whole city know that every cop in town was concentrated in two or three places wasn’t a good idea?

Regarding the violence, I think this boils down to a local group of teens and young twenty-somethings who wanted to get into a confrontation with police because they saw it happening in other cities on Snapchat. Broken windows can be fixed, and I’m sure most if not all of those businesses have insurance to cover it. (Oh, by the way, most business insurance has not been covering anything related to Covid-19, so it will be interesting to see the sudden about-face with payouts.) The looting/theft of guns is concerning, to say the least, but again, when you’re telling the whole community that every cop in town is focused toward the center of town, you may see problems popping up along the fringes.

On another topic, I’d like to know what Noem was referring to when she used the phrase “mob rule” the last couple days. I would say the state government, Sioux Falls city government, and the Sioux Falls school district are definitely controlled by “the mob.” Could that be what she’s talking about? I wonder…

#17 "Very Stable Genius" on 06.02.20 at 4:03 pm

“In retrospect, maybe letting the whole city know that every cop in town was concentrated in two or three places wasn’t a good idea?”

At the height of the mall event, I counted seventeen squad cars and the SWAT team. 😉

( and Woodstock adds: “I bet Barney was shaking, while trying to get his bullet out of his shirt pocket?”…)

#18 Scott D Hudson on 06.02.20 at 5:35 pm

I did think it was irresponsible for KSFY to have a reporter downtown doing a walking tour to show what parts of Phillips had security guards and which parts didn’t. And that came ten minutes after their crack reporter at the Western Mall said there were no cops around.

#19 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 06.02.20 at 8:02 pm

The Western Mall is not known for having available rocks.