A community service officer documented graffiti Monday morning as Trump supporters arrived to show support after the Trump Shop in Rapid City was tagged with anti-Trump messages.
"I'm sad. I really don't know how to feel. I don't think it's necessary for people to do," said Angie Flanagan, a Rapid City resident who manages the store with her husband, Ryan.
Angie said the store at the Baken Park Shopping Center on Mountain View Road in west Rapid City was tagged sometime after it closed at 7 p.m. Sunday and reopened at 9 a.m. Monday. The graffiti includes an expletive, a heart, and several hammer and sickles, a communist symbol depicted on the flag of the Soviet Union.
"We're getting a lot of support, more support than negative, but we do have people driving through the parking lot yelling stuff: 'Leave, we're not welcome, we're racist, they hate Trump,'" Angie said. "But they just drive through, they don't stop. So, this is the first time they actually acted out on it."
The store is one of several in the area that opened ahead of the 79th Sturgis motorcycle rally. Other locations include a tent kiosk on North Street in Rapid City, two locations on Main Street in Sturgis, one at the Buffalo Chip campground, and another in Gillette, Wyoming. The owner, Cornell Nicholas of Sarasota, Florida, said the Baken Park store may stay open after the rally ends on Aug. 11.
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Angie said she's not sure how much the cleanup will cost, but they will have to paint over the graffiti and throw away a tagged flag. She said the store has no video surveillance system, but they may consider installing cameras now.
Brendyn Medina, spokesman for the Rapid City Police Department, said the community service officer would canvas surrounding stores to see if they captured any footage of the vandalism.
"What it comes down to is we're all American," said Ryan. "If we could all just understand that we want to bring ourselves together in America and remember that we can always have a healthy debate."
"With respect," Angie interjected. "With a lot of respect both ways, that's all I wish we could have," Ryan said.