Violent Weekend Across the Upper Midwest, St. Cloud Stays Calm
ST. CLOUD -- While protests over the death of George Floyd turned violent in cities all across the upper Midwest over the weekend, St. Cloud so far has remained very calm and quiet.
On Friday a planned peaceful flower drop stayed quiet, which was followed by a march through the downtown.
Police Chief Blair Anderson says his department took all of the rumors and the threats they were hearing very seriously throughout the day.
We ran down as many of those as possible up to and including making sure we were face to face talking to people who had posted some of those things. That was very effective.
Anderson says he did not want any of the businesses to close down early on Friday. He says they had no reason to because they couldn't find any credible threats and that if there was one they would have shared that information.
Several businesses in the St. Cloud area closed their doors early on Friday, with some boarding up their windows and doors in an effort to prevent any damage if there was any violence.
Anderson says he's really appreciative and grateful to the community. And, he says it shows the groundwork his department has been doing with community groups is paying off.
We try to do the work and reach out to our community and engage our community in a variety of ways all the time. Let me rephrase that, we don't try we do. We have a community engagement division, we have an entire division devoted to community outreach.
Anderson says we're not out of the woods yet and some real changes need to be made in some organizations.
Riot in downtown Farge Saturday night. Jim Maurice, WJON
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What started out as a peaceful march through Fargo turned ugly when protesters damaged buildings and vehicles in the city’s downtown after a two-hour showdown with police.