PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota Gov. issued a statement Sunday, May 31, regarding the nationwide protests and riots spurred by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with manslaughter and murder in the death of Floyd.
“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,” Noem said, referring to legislation that was passed during this year's legislative session.
The law allows for criminal and civil penalties for rioting and inciting a riot in the state.
“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," Noem said in the release.
Peaceful protests calling for justice for the death of Floyd, have been held in Rapid City, Sioux Falls and Aberdeen over the weekend.
A weekend protest in Fargo turned violent and resulted in extensive property damage in the downtown area.