A man has been arrested for allegedly kicking a biker
at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
By Ewan Palmer
A man has been arrested for allegedly kicking a biker at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota rally over the weekend during a largely peaceful protest. Video posted on social media appears to show several police officers detaining the suspect while surrounded by a large crowd of bikers taking part in the annual rally. One clip of the arrest was posted on Twitter with the caption “Antifa actually showed up to Sturgis today” although it is unclear if the anti-fascist movement were involved in the protest. A second video also appears to show the moment the suspect kicks out at a biker as he rides past him on his motorbike. Geody VanDewater, Sturgis chief of police, said officers were aware of the planned protest against the large rally which went ahead amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Hundreds of thousands of riders arrived from all over the country to the rally in the South Dakota town. Mask-wearing was not mandatory and social distancing did not appear to be enforced in the bars and on the streets, prompting fears the rally could help spread the virus.
“They expressed their First Amendment right as well as the demonstrators and for the most part, it was civil and everybody was well behaved until one of the demonstrators decided to kick a motorcyclist on his motorcycle,” VanDewater told KEVN. Eli Villarreal was one of those who recorded the protester being arrested by officers at the rally. “The international attention right now is on Sturgis, with the COVID-19 and everything and I know that people are going to want to see this and see what’s going on here,” Villarreal told KEVN. “We’re in the spotlight right now, Sturgis, this is the biggest event held in probably the world since the COVID broke out so all eyes are on us right now. That’s the reason I pulled out the phone so people can see what’s going on here.”
Sturgis Police have been contacted for further comment.