Douglas Police: Misinformation Distributed Regarding Protests
The Douglas Police Department says false information regarding protesters coming from out-of-state led to harassment in South Dakota's capital city, and they hope to avoid similar situations in Converse County.
In a Facebook post, the department said officials have been contacted regarding a social media post about protesters coming into Wyoming regarding the death of George Floyd.
"As of right now, the Douglas Police Department is working in conjunction with our Converse County law enforcement partners along with law enforcement agencies in the surrounding counties to verify the validity of the information regarding the post," Douglas PD Chief Ron Caselenda wrote on Facebook. "Please understand that if this event happens, these individuals have the Constitutional right to peacefully protest and we will continue to ensure the safety of everyone involved while we monitor the situation.
"There was information distributed yesterday in the Rapid City, South Dakota area that resulted in individuals coming out to 'protect' the community and it resulted in some innocent people being harassed. This happened based on either poor or false information being distributed via social media."
The department added that Casper has had similar issues with false information being posted to social media.
A gathering is planned for Wednesday afternoon in downtown Casper and police have encouraged businesses to temporarily close out of "an abundance of caution."
Up the road in Converse County, the Glenrock Police Department said on Facebook that there was a post suggesting the peaceful protest regarding the death of George Floyd should continue in Glenrock and Douglas.
"We are working with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to collect information and be prepared for any potential protest, demonstration or otherwise," Glenrock PD Chief David Theel wrote. "Our goal will always be to provide for the safety and security of our rural Wyoming Community and to protect the constitutional rights of us all."
This story has been corrected to show that the harassment was reported in Rapid City, South Dakota, not Douglas, Wyoming.
KEEP READING: 50 community resources supporting Americans financially impacted by COVID-19