Noem Wants Solutions On Policies, Policing For South Dakota

Jun 1, 2020

Credit John Nguyen / SDPB

Governor Kristi Noem says the state has resources pre-staged in cities across South Dakota to respond if any planned protests get out of hand.

Meanwhile, the governor is calling on governing bodies and community leaders to have discussions on policing policies.

Governor Noem says her office is looking at resources and tools available to her to address what’s happening across the state and country following the death of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis who died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck.

Noem says she’s open to solutions

“Now is not the time to continue to point to problems without offering valid solutions that will actually create a better country and world for our kids and grandkids to grow up in,” Noem says. “The question before us is what do we want for policies and policing for our cities in the future. What do we want it to look like? Let’s be problem solvers here, today, and work together.”

Noem says the country has been discussing race and inequality for decades. She says she wants to champion common-sense solutions and that now is time for those conversations.

“I think the pandemic has shown us that nothing is impossible when it comes to change.”

That’s Erik Brings White, a community outreach organizer in Rapid City. He is one of several community leaders denouncing a wave of violence sweeping the nation after the death of George Floyd.

He says the conversation Noem is calling for should center around unity and the diversity of the state.

Brings White quotes Pennington County State’s Attorney Mark Vargo.

“He said it’s not about getting to the point where we could say we’re all alike,” Brings White says. “It’s getting to the point where we can say ‘I love how different we all are.’”

Brings White says divisions within a community fail to strengthen it. He calls division a strategy of the past.