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Angola shop broken into, vandalized with racial slurs

Someone broke into a Black-owned business in Angola, Ind., over the Juneteenth weekend and...
Someone broke into a Black-owned business in Angola, Ind., over the Juneteenth weekend and spray painted racial slurs across it.(Erlinda Inniss)
Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 4:21 PM EDT
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ANGOLA, Ind. (WPTA) - The owner of the Willow Tree Shoppes in Angola is frustrated and dismayed after discovering someone broke into their store and spray painted racial slurs on the walls, floor, computer and furniture.

The destruction took place over the Juneteenth holiday weekend at the property in the 100 block of E. Wendell Jacob Ave.

The store is described as a spiritual wellness center and metaphysical shop, selling herbs, crystals and other such products. It is owned by Erlinda Inniss, who is Black.

The graffiti strewn across the interior of the business makes repeated use of a racial slur. ABC21 has edited photos of the damage to obscure that language.

Racist graffiti was sprayed across the interior of a Black-owned business in Angola, Ind.
Racist graffiti was sprayed across the interior of a Black-owned business in Angola, Ind.(Erlinda Inniss)

A post to the store’s Facebook page on Monday included several pictures with the simple message: “We are closed today.”

Inniss told ABC21 that the crime follows another incident in which someone vandalized her car -- something she said she reported to local law enforcement.

“(I don’t know)... It just saddens me that with all the good we have brought to the town, how this can happen,” she told ABC21. “I hate that my shop is the spotlight of this, but hope it just brings awareness to the people (that) we need to do better,” she said.

Inniss was not available Monday for an on-camera interview. She says racial harassment has been taking place for about two-to-three months.

A Go Fund Me page was established for those wishing to contribute to the clean-up and reopening effort.

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