Old Town Shop Vandalized with Hate Messages

On an early Saturday morning of September 26, a small store in Old Town Clovis was discovered, vandalized wall to wall. The shop’s inventory was either stolen or destroyed, items were thrown across the room, water everywhere. Hateful slurs were spray-painted on the walls for the owner to discover.

BLM was crossed out with spray paint, targeting a hate crime on Just My Essential, a Black-owned Business.

Just My Essentials is known for natural body care infused with essential oil; the three-year-old shop is located on Pollasky in Clovis. The owner of the shop was arriving to work when she found her store in a wreck.

“It hurt my feelings, I felt like a sitting duck for the first couple of days, whoever did it was watching me,” says Chanel Wapner, owner of Just My Essentials. “When you don’t know where it’s coming from, it makes you feel vulnerable.”

After discovering what was done to her shop, Wapner called her husband and the Clovis PD.

“Our detectives are on it, we have people looking at the video. We are doing everything we can to develop a suspect,” says Lieutenant Jim Munro, with Clovis Police Department.

There was forced entry in the back entrance of the store. Clovis PD is confident they will find a suspect. There are city cameras all along Old Town Clovis with many angles. They have taken footage of the street cameras and are currently reviewing videos that might give them a lead.

Whether it was an angry former customer, no information is provided at this time who the suspect might be.

The City Council made a statement Sunday morning the day after Just My Essentials was vandalized, via Facebook Live.

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

“The Clovis Police Department, they are relentless, they will find who is responsible for this, and they will meet the swift hand of justice,” says Jose Flores, Mayor Pro Tem of Clovis

Many citizens of Clovis have come together to show their support to Wapner, even creating a GoFundMe page to help restore the store.

Wapner said it is not enough to make her leave. She is relentless and will be reopening her shop, when she does; she wants a big reopening to thank all those who have supported her through this detrimental time.

“It’s hurtful. Have a reason not to like me, don’t let the reason you don’t like me [be] because of my color. Go a little deeper than that,” says Wapner.

Tori Lavon
Tori Lavon is a Multimedia Journalist from Reedley, California. She received her Bachelor's in Mass Communications and Journalism with an emphasis in Broadcasting from California State University, Fresno. Currently, she is a radio intern were she sometimes has the opportunity to be on-air with talent. She is getting her start in media. She has a passion for reporting, photography, and videography. Tori also has a love for art; she loves to draw, paint, and does pottery on the side. One day she hopes she can be on-air talent at a radio station as well.