SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Protesters are planning to line the streets of Sioux Falls on Saturday in another demonstration against police brutality and racism.
Organizers said Friday that they are asking everyone planning to attend the protest to remain peaceful and have communicated their plans to the police department.
Seymour Otterman, one of the protest organizers, said police brutality didn't appear to be a problem in the city, but that it's important to “stand in solidarity” with people across the country calling for police reforms.
“Part of it is also acknowledging the racism that black people do face in Sioux Falls,” Otterman said.
During the last protest nearly two weeks ago, some demonstrators marched to a mall, hurled rocks at police, and vandalized cars and several stores. Sioux Falls police have arrested at least eight suspects in that unrest and are searching for more.
Mayor Paul TenHaken said he was meeting with the family members of those who have been arrested in an attempt to “understand what's going on in our community and what the city needs to do better.”
The mayor said he is not considering cutting the police department's budget despite calls from activists around the nation to rethink how police departments work. He defended the city's police, calling it “one of the best police departments in the country.”
About 8% of the city's budget goes to policing, an allotment TenHaken called “minimal.”
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