PHOTOS: Timeline of Sunday night's protest in Sioux Falls

 An apparent flash grenade goes off outside the Empire Mall
An apparent flash grenade goes off outside the Empire Mall (KSFY)
Published: Jun. 1, 2020 at 9:13 AM CDT
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A protest to honor George Floyd and speak out against racial injustice slowly descended into violence Sunday night in Sioux Falls.

Officials say 2,000-3,000 people took part in a planned protest in downtown Sioux Falls for Floyd. Some of the crowd ended up clashing with police in front of the Empire Mall hours later.

The following is a timeline of Sunday night's event:

5 p.m.: The planned protest begins at Van Eps Park in downtown Sioux Falls. The city estimates between 2,000-3,000 people took part.

5:05 p.m.: Several organizers and protest leaders speak to the crowd, speaking out against racial injustice while remembering George Floyd.

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5:15 p.m. The march continues toward the Minnehaha County Courthouse as planned.

5:30 p.m.: More people speak outside the courthouse, including the


6:10-6:15 p.m.: The planned march ends outside the Law Enforcement Center, though a large portion of the crowd does not disperse.

6:15 p.m.-6:30 p.m.: Crowds move in different areas around downtown; march eventually coalesces on Minnesota Avenue at 14th Street and begins moving north.

6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.: Crowd moves north to Russell Street, then heads west over to Prairie Avenue. The group turns south, eventually making its way back downtown. When our news crews asked different protesters where they were headed, we received the same answer: "We don't know!"

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7:30 p.m.: The group begins to head south on Minnesota Avenue. The protest is still peaceful, as groups occasionally take a knee and chant in support of George Floyd.

8:30 p.m.: The group turns west on 41st Street.

9:15 p.m.: A crowd begins forming at the parking lot of the Empire Mall; no violence yet, but more aggressive shouts are directed at police as tensions clearly begin to mount. At this point, the crowd had marched over nine miles.

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9:20 p.m.: Reports of protesters thrown water bottles at police; soon after, reports of protesters throwing rocks.

9:30 p.m.: Tensions continue escalate as the crowd masses on the south side of the mall. Many protesters urge others to keep the peace, some ask others to stay home.

9:33 p.m.: Mayor Paul TenHaken issues a Declaration of Emergency in Sioux Falls, and issues a curfew beginning at 10 p.m. for the area around the mall. This curfew is later extended for the entire city.

9:35 p.m.: Police deploy tear gas to disperse crowds outside the mall; tear gas and smoke is deployed several more times over the next hour.

9:50 p.m.: Gov. Kristi Noem activates the National Guard to assist in Sioux Falls.

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10-10:30 p.m.: Periodic flare ups between protesters and police; officers use rubber bullets on some protesters. Reports of vandalism and looting outside other businesses in the area, including several along 41st Street. At some point, an officer saw and heard 15-20 gunshots fired near T.J. Maxx; no one was hurt, it's still unclear if anyone was targeted.

10:45 p.m.: Police begin dispersing final remnants of crowd outside the Empire Mall.

11 p.m.-1 a.m.: Scattered reports of vandalism, crowds gathering in different areas around town.