RAPID CITY, S.D. (Rapid City Journal) — Rapid City police say civilians organizing armed patrols in an attempt to help law enforcement deal with potentially violent protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis will actually hinder officers. Representatives from the Rapid City Police Department and the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office met with several dozen members of the Defend RCPD/Rapid City Facebook group who had gathered outside the Rushmore Mall Monday. Some carried handguns on their belts.
Police Lt. Andy Becker said armed civilians patrolling businesses could actually encourage protesters who had no plans to show up. The Rapid City Journal reports that he said officers don’t want anyone trying to do their jobs.