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Things stayed mostly peaceful during the Saturday protest in Sturgis

The police chief said things only got heated when the protester kicked a biker.
Published: Aug. 16, 2020 at 5:14 PM MDT
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STURGIS, S.D. (KEVN) - Protestors met in Sturgis Saturday to speak out against the rally and other large South Dakota events.

Sturgis police were informed through social media that a protest was scheduled for Saturday around 4 p.m. The police department provided the demonstrators with a four-man foot team to keep them safe and escort them through the busy street. Police also met with the demonstrators just before protesting began, to talk about their expectations from both bikers and protestors.

“They expressed their first amendment right as well as the demonstrators and for the most part, it was civil and everybody was well behaved until one of the demonstrators decided to kick a motorcyclist on his motorcycle,” said Geody VanDewater, Sturgis chief of police.

VanDewater said things only got heated when the protestor kicked a biker. But police got the crowd under control quickly and took the protestor into custody. Many bystanders had their phones out during the demonstration and one said he thought it was important to show what was happening.

“The international attention right now is on Sturgis, with the COVID-19 and everything and I said, I know that people are going to want to see this and see what’s going on here. And so, we’re in the spotlight right now, Sturgis, this is the biggest event held in probably the world since the COVID broke out so all eyes are on us right now,” said Eli Villarreal, vendor, and bystander. “That’s the reason I pulled out the phone so people can see what’s going on here.”

Villarreal said he was on his way to see another vendor when he noticed the protestors. His youtube video has over 150,000 views and 1,600 comments.

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