South Dakota sheriff, protest organizer differ on escalation

July 13, 2020

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – The Pennington County Sheriff and an organizer of a July 3 demonstration near Mount Rushmore have continued to clash over their accounts of who escalated confrontations between protesters and law enforcement.

Nick Tilsen, a protest organizer who is facing felony charges for his actions during the protest, accused law enforcement of mismanaging the situation and committing violence.

But Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom said demonstrators broke the plans they had communicated to him and escalated the protest to confront law enforcement.

A group of protesters blocked the road leading to Mount Rushmore ahead of President Donald Trump’s visit.