CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Republican Party office on Capitol Avenue was vandalized early Tuesday morning with black spray paint, but no suspects have been identified so far.
The painted messages read “I can’t breathe,” “F--- Trump” and also blacked out the Republican Party logo at the front of their office. By around 10 a.m. Tuesday, the majority of the spray paint had been cleaned off the glass front.
This vandalization comes amid nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd after he was restrained by four Minneapolis police officers because he matched the description of a forgery suspect at a grocery store. Derek Chauvin, the officer who restrained Floyd by putting his knee on his neck, is now facing charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
The Cheyenne Police Department is aware of the local vandalism incident and is investigating. No one had been identified as a suspect at this time, and the police report was still being completed Tuesday, according to spokesman David Inman.
Misdemeanor vandalism, when the property destroyed or damaged has a value of less than $1,000, is a crime punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a $750 fine, according to Wyoming law.
The Wyoming Republican Party issued the following statement on the vandalism:
“Although it is disheartening to have had our office front defamed by protesters, it comes as no surprise. The organization of the Left is astounding, and their tactics are consistently undermining morality. We will clean up our windows and continue in the fight for justice for all,” the statement said. “The irony of the message becomes evident. If you look behind the glass at the display, a timeless Republican principle is boldly stated, ‘Rule of Law.’”
The statement also quoted John Adams, who said the Constitution was made for moral and religious people, and inadequate to the government of any other. It also mentioned that it was 64 years ago that God was removed from schools, and due to that, the fiber that knit together a moral society was also removed.
“There is no better reminder that the beliefs we hold as Republicans matter,” the statement said. “They matter to the economy, they matter to preserving lives, they matter to holding together our America. Please join us in praying for our nation and exercising our right to protect our neighbors and communities.”
The Laramie County Democratic Party also issued a statement condemning the vandalism. They said they support the rights of people to protest and practice civil disobedience as a way to illustrate injustice of certain laws. But they don’t condone violence, in the form of the Wyoming GOP office vandalism or “structural violence against marginalized people in Wyoming.”
They said it’s important for people to ask themselves why people are feeling desperate and that there are many forms of violence.
“Despite a current world that tells the marginalized among us otherwise, we believe in the transformative power of politics as a means to achieve that change,” the statement said. “We believe that if our Legislature better represented our population, we could address the underlying causes of this simmering anger. Let’s channel this anger into positive action, and do battle at the ballot box.”