CLOVIS, California. (KSEE) – The Clovis City Council united to condemn racism Monday – after a local business was a target of a hate crime.
On Sep. 26, the owner of Just My Essentials discovered her Old Town Clovis store had been broken into and vandalized – with someone stealing or destroying all her products and spraying racial slurs on the walls and floor.
Owner Chanel Wapner said she was surprised by the crime, but even more surprised by the outpouring of support in the weeks that followed.
“What I want to come out of this is whoever did this can see the support I’m getting from everybody of every other color,” said Wapner.
She says her neighbors have been especially supportive, which solidified her decision to stay and repair her shop.
“I was angry. I think most people I talked to their first emotion was anger, followed by disappointment and resolve that this is not a community value in Clovis,” said Clovis Mayor Drew Bessinger.
During the first city council meeting since the incident, council members issued a proclamation condemning racism, discrimination, bigotry, bias, and hate speech in the community.
Councilmember Lynne Ashbeck, who had the idea to issue a proclamation, said it’s not a solution but a start.
“It was a call to action. A lot of people stepped up and said well what can I do. It just reminded people to be kind,” said Kathy Hannen.
Hansen took her kids to the meeting so they could learn how their actions have an impact. They were some of the Dry Creek Elementary School students who wrote positive messages outside Chanel’s store following the incident.
Clovis City Council praised the kids during the meeting and gave them city shirts and coins.
“We just wanted to spread a smile across Chanel’s face and let her know she is not alone and we are here with her,” said elementary school student Emma Hansen.
In a statement, Clovis Police Department says their investigation is ongoing.
We are reviewing hours of security footage from multiple cameras located in Old Town Clovis, as well as following up on leads. We have multiple investigative resources working on this case on a daily basis and will update the media and public with future developments.Lt. Jim Munro, Clovis Police Department