Emotions spilled in the streets of downtown Sioux Falls Wednesday night as hundreds of people congregated on Philips Avenue and 14th Street to protest.

UPDATE 12:00 PM 6/30/22:

The Sioux Falls Police Department says that five adults were arrested in connection to Wednesday night's demonstration. All five were charged with Disorderly Conduct among other charges


 

To say the country is angry and on edge right now after the Supreme Court's recent ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade is putting things mildly.

Those emotions spilled over onto the streets of downtown Sioux Falls Wednesday night as hundreds of people congregated on Philips Avenue and 14th Street to protest their displeasure with the court's decision.

Perhaps you watched some of the demonstrations unfold live on social media or television?

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According to Dakota News Now, the whole thing began around 7 PM on Wednesday (June 29) downtown in Lyons Park. The group of protestors assembling made their way down Phillips Avenue and eventually ended up on 14th Street near the southern edge of downtown Sioux Falls.

That's where several of the roughly 300 plus protestors began their standoff with Sioux Falls police.

If you did happen to catch any of the demonstrations live, you no doubt witnessed a number of the protestors sitting down in the middle of the street, blocking traffic. Countless others could be seen chanting, yelling, and giving the one-finger salute to members of the Sioux Falls PD who were on hand to maintain security, provide safety, and ensure the protest remained peaceful.

Authorities say the demonstrators behind Wednesday night's abortion rights protest in Sioux Falls did not obtain the proper permit required by the city to assemble.

The city of Sioux Falls requires a special permit to be obtained at least 48 hours prior to any event that intends to have a group of 25 or more “persons, animals or vehicles, or combination thereof.” The people involved in Wednesday night's event did not have such a permit, therefore, authorities were forced to deem the event an “unlawful assembly."

Dakota News Now reports, as tensions began to escalate shortly before 9 PM, officers issued a dispersal order to the crowd. Most of the people on hand failed to comply and remained on site. Consequently, police eventually released smoke canisters into the crowd to help facilitate dispersal before nightfall.  

Watching it live, it looked like police may have used a chemical agent like tear gas to help break up the crowd. However, later that evening, during a 10 PM police briefing to the public, Sioux Falls Police Chief Jon Thum confirmed it was just smoke that was used and not any kind of chemical agent.

By 10 PM, Dakota News Now reports most of the crowd had dispersed, with only a handful of protesters remaining on downtown streets.

In the end, Wednesday night's abortion rights rally was generally a peaceful one, with only a few arrests made.

As of Wednesday night, police did not know the specific number of people that were taken into custody. That information will be released during a subsequent police briefing planned for Thursday (June 30).

Source: Dakota News Now

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