5 people arrested during Rapid City protest Tuesday night
While the Tuesday night protest about police violence was relatively peaceful in Rapid City, there were several arrests, according to a release from the Rapid City Police Department.
Those arrested are:
⦁ 41-year-old Shawn Kerns of Rapid City – disorderly conduct
⦁ 15-year-old juvenile – disorderly conduct
⦁ 16-year-old juvenile – disorderly conduct, disorderly assembly
⦁ 18-year-old Lydia Alyea of Rapid City - disorderly conduct
⦁ 19-year-old Wyatt Fenner of Rapid City - disorderly conduct, disorderly assembly
Protests erupted across the country and in South Dakota following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died during an arrest in Minneapolis. Video shows a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on Floyd's neck for about nine minutes while Floyd pleaded that he couldn't breathe.
The Rapid City protest Tuesday started at Main Street Square around 7 p.m., and then moved to the Pennington County Courthouse before some in the group tried to occupy Saint Joseph Street. Police were forced to block and divert traffic for a while.
According to the police release, a protester (later identified as Fenner) was seen leading the group into the roadway, encouraging others before laying down in the road. Several other protesters did the same. After being told to move off the road, the demonstration migrated to the Public Safety Building and then back to Main Street Square.
At the square, the group was confronted by counter-protesters, prompting police to intervene. After a while, the counter group left but returned in vehicles, yelling at the protesters. This prompted the original protest group to reorganize and once again march to the courthouse before marching to Memorial Park.
En-route to Memorial Park several protesters tried to stop traffic at the intersection of Mount Rushmore Road and Saint Joseph Street. Police made several arrests and declared the demonstration an unlawful assembly because, police say, the group repeatedly engaged in unlawful behavior that was also dangerous.