Vandals left racist messages and destroyed parts of only Black-owned store in Old Town Clovis

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Racial slurs graffitied across the walls, products stolen, the rest damaged.

"If it wasn't stolen, it was destroyed," says Just My Essentials Owner Chanel Wapner. "They took the tops off of all my products and poured water in them. I think it's water and just spray painted and did as much damage as they could."

This is the scene Wapner found Saturday morning.

"I looked in and there was just a mess," she said. "The N-word sprayed across the walls, BLM crossed out on the floor and product destroyed everywhere."

Vandals even took the cash from the register. Wapner says the loss will be covered by insurance but the damage has already been done.

"For this to happen like this and it so obviously be a hate crime is what has me freaked out, but not freaked out enough to leave because I'm not leaving," she said.

Members of the Clovis City Council gathered Saturday to speak out against racism.

"We rebuke anyone who would ever commit a crime against someone else because of the color of their skin," says Clovis Mayor Drew Bessinger.

Promising to hold whoever did this accountable.

"We're angry about this but we're going to do what we have to do to make sure this doesn't happen again," he said. "That the individuals who did this are brought to justice."

As for Wapner, she's focused on getting the store up and running again.

"It's going to take some time to clean it up and get it back in order, but I will."

Clovis Police say the last time a hate crime happened in the city was in 2015.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to support the business.
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