August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Friday, May 27, 2022

Racist Rapid City: Hotel Owner Arrested for Spraying Lakotas with Chemical Spray During Protest




While spraying Lakota protesters, hotel owner Connie Uhre tells demonstrators
that the spray substance is "bug spray."

Racist Rapid City: Hotel Owner Arrested for Spraying Lakotas with Chemical Spray During Protest

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
May 27, 2022

RAPID CITY, South Dakota -- In this city that is synonymous with bordertown racism, the owner of a hotel here was arrested Friday after spraying Lakotas with a chemical spray as they protested racism at the Grand Gateway Hotel.

Grand Gateway Hotel owner Connie Uhre sprayed several Lakotas who were boycotting racist treatment by the hotel with Pledge. Uhre was charged with three counts of simple assault.

Sunny Red Bear, director of racial equity at NDN Collective, was sprayed directly in the face.

“This is what we mean when we say that white supremacy is violent,” said Sunny Red Bear, racial equity director at NDN Collective. “No matter how long they lie dormant, peoples’ racist worldviews eventually come out in their actions.


"Connie Uhre already made her view of Native people clear when she said she’d ban all of us from her business, and when her staff followed through on that ban. Those actions alone were violent."

"Now that we’ve seen that she was willing to commit a physical act of violence – in public and in broad daylight – I hope that people will begin to understand and believe us when we say how dangerous and REAL racism is.”

A video of Uhre's arrest shows her being led away by police outside the hotel and crying.

However, according to the bail release, she was released without any charge for bail. Lakotas said that Uhre's release shortly after her arrest -- with no bail charged, and the fact that she was not handcuffed by police when arrested -- reveals the preferential treatment for whites in Rapid City by law enforcement.





2KC Media reported, "Racist hotel owner Connie Uhre was arrested today on 3 counts of assault after she sprayed multiple people in the face with what she said was 'bug spray.'"

"On Friday, May 27, 2022, a small group of peaceful people was assembled in front of the Grand Gateway Hotel to spread ongoing awareness of Connie's racist comments said earlier this year, 'We will no longer allow any Native American on property.'"

"As a group of Native Youth were drumming prayer songs in front of the hotel, Connie Uhre parked her vehicle close to them and began to honk incessantly."

"Then she walked to the back of her vehicle to get the spray can that she used to spray multiple people in the face. A few hours later Connie was escorted out of her hotel by Rapid City Police covered in fake tears but not in handcuffs."

"Connie Uhre violated federal laws when she denied service to Native People in March but city officials and law enforcement have failed to take action."

"This is the racist reality Native People experience every day in their own Homelands and the city remains in denial about it. Imagine if it was a Native they had to arrest?"

"Toksa Ake Racist City South Dakkkota."

"This is Oceti Sakowin and we have served you with an eviction notice already, either you can't comprehend or need a reminder: Racists Are Not Welcome," 2KC Media said in a statement.

NDN COLLECTIVE released the following statement and video

"Today, during a picket line event – which NDN Collective has been leading three times a week for the last six weeks – Connie Uhre, owner of the Grand Gateway Hotel, approached the boycotters and sprayed Sunny Red Bear, director of racial equity at NDN Collective, directly in the face with a cleaning product.
Grand Gateway Hotel owner Connie Uhre stepped out of her vehicle and began spraying boycotters with what appears to be some type of cleaning product," NDN Collective said.

“This is what we mean when we say that white supremacy is violent,” said Sunny Red Bear, racial equity director at NDN Collective. “No matter how long they lie dormant, peoples’ racist worldviews eventually come out in their actions. Connie Uhre already made her view of Native people clear when she said she’d ban all of us from her business, and when her staff followed through on that ban. Those actions alone were violent. Now that we’ve seen that she was willing to commit a physical act of violence – in public and in broad daylight – I hope that people will begin to understand and believe us when we say how dangerous and REAL racism is.”

“Connie Uhre’s behavior today was not only racist, violent and disgusting – it was also illegal. As Native people we will not sit on the sidelines while our rights are violated,” said Nick Tilsen, NDN Collective President and CEO."

“This incident will be added to the federal civil rights lawsuit that was filed in March. We now call upon the Department of Justice to intervene and hold Connie Uhre and the Grand Gateway Hotel accountable for these racist and illegal acts against our people. It requires aggressive action to dismantle white supremacy. Everybody in this community should be outraged," NDN Collective said.


Hotel Owner Connie Uhre: "This is Bug Spray"

The Rapid City Journal reports, "Brendyn Medina, spokesperson with the department, said police responded to a call around 12:45 p.m. Friday at the Grand Gateway Hotel. Medina said police met with witnesses and reviewed video footage. After further investigation, Uhre was placed under arrest. He said the charges stem from her use of a cleaning chemical on individuals."

In one of the videos, Uhre tells the Native American demonstrators that the spray substance is "bug spray."

After she gets back into her vehicle, one of the demonstrators said, "Maybe one day you'll love our people." Uhre can be heard saying, "I do love your people. Not the bad ones."

Members of NDN Collective have conducted demonstrations three times a week for the last six weeks against all Uhre-owned properties following Uhre's comments on Facebook stating Native Americans were banned from the hotel, along with Cheers Lounge. The Uhres also own The Foothills Inn.

Read the article at Rapid City Journal.


No comments:

Censored News copyright

All content at Censored News is copyrighted by the creator of the work, and may not be used for any reason without written permission. This includes news, books, films, dissertations, grants, reports, pamphlets, and any other purpose.