Rapid City hotel owner arrested following clash with Native American protesters
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The 75-year-old owner of a Rapid City hotel embroiled in a dispute with a Native American group is arrested following the latest confrontation.
Connie Uhre faces three counts of simple assault for allegedly spraying a protester with a cleaning product.
KOTA/KEVN received video of Friday’s clash at the Grand Gateway Hotel in North Rapid. In video from today’s protest, Connie Uhre seems to approach the picketers before spraying Sunny Red Bear, director of racial equity at NDN Collective, with what appears to be a cleaning product.
According to a release from the NDN Collective, the indigenous activist group was leading a picket line event in response to a controversial Facebook comment made by Connie Uhre back in March, saying that the hotel would ban Native Americans from the property. She made the comment following the shooting death of 19-year-old Myron Pourier at a party being held in the hotel.
In a statement released by the NDN collective, Red Bear said “Connie Uhre already made her view of Native people clear when she said she’d ban all of us from her business.
“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,” Red Bear stated.
A spokesperson for the Rapid City Police Department says they’ve been working with the protestors and the hotel management so both sides know their rights and that everyone has been in what police call compliance. They say Friday’s assault is the exception.
We reached out to representatives from the Grand Gateway Hotel, who would only say that the protesters were trespassing.
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