Rally planned in Aberdeen on Saturday

Published: Jun. 1, 2020 at 7:17 PM CDT
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With protests and rallies happening across the State and the Country, people in Aberdeen have been fairly quiet.

"We've had little to no law enforcement action taken in any way with that kind of stuff," said Aberdeen Police Sergeant Tanner Jondahl.

There was a small gathering this past weekend.

"It's a constitutional right for those folks to talk about what's bothering them," said Jondahl.

Simone Ochotorena attended that gathering because it meant a lot to her to have her voice heard.

"It was important for me because when I was young I didn't know I was a different color, I just didn't know, and I was bullied in middle school and I was called the N word," said Simone Ochotorena, one of the protesters.

But while voicing her concerns, she says a group of people made it known they didn't share the same feelings.

"I just walked up and before I got halfway across the street, they were yelling at me 'go back to your side,' and I got close to them, one specific individual said 'just so you know as soon as you step on this curb, you're on our territory," Ochotorena said.

Ochotorena says she will attend the 'Stand Together at the Courthouse' rally in Aberdeen this weekend, organized by Damian Mann.

"Even small communities are being affected by what's going on throughout the Country right now," Damian Mann said.

Mann wants the rally to be completely peaceful but still makes an impact.

"Aberdeen, South Dakota can be a safe space. If you feel affected by discrimination, hate, bigotry, anything like that, this can be a place you can come for safety," Mann said.

Mann is hopeful this rally will bring people together. The Aberdeen Police Department will allow the protesters to let their voices be heard, and they are hopeful they won't need to intervene.

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