Police responded to a shooting at the Grand Gateway Hotel on LaCrosse Street in Rapid City early Saturday morning and arrested 19-year-old Quincy Bear Robe for aggravated assault and commission of a felony with a firearm.
Apparently the Uhre family that owns the hotel and the attached Cheers Sports Bars think the proper response is to ban Native Americans from their property. Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender retweets this apparent Facebook post from Connie Uhre who invites immediate prosecution for racial discrimination in public accommodations and lodges wild accusations that Rapid City is being ruined by money from the MacArthur Foundation:
The ban on Native Americans at the Grand Gateway Hotel and associated venues is, of course, illegal and immoral.
The nutbar business about “dark money” from the MacArthur Foundation is bunk—everybody knows about the money and where it came from, so it can’t be “dark”, and as Mayor Allender explained last summer, it’s Pennington County, not Rapid City, that has received the MacArthur Foundation funding, and the money is part of long-term criminal justice reform:
Locally, there has been growing frustration with the homeless population. A few people have wrongly concluded this is because law enforcement has taken a different approach due to the MacArthur grant they have received. This is not the case.
Rapid City is not a recipient of MacArthur funding. Pennington County receives these funds which are used to fund the County’s own crime reduction initiatives. These initiatives are an effort to engage the community, decrease incarceration for low-level crimes, pre-trial monitoring, operation of the Care Campus and a variety of other cost-saving programs. The MacArthur grant is not awarded contingent on reduced level of law enforcement response or prosecutions. Pennington County and their stakeholders develop their own initiatives and are under no mandates from the Foundation.
The cornerstone of South Dakota’s criminal justice reform came in 2013 with the passing of then Senate Bill 70. This bill was passed, in part, to avoid building new prison space which is terribly inefficient and expensive to taxpayers.
As a result of, or in conjunction with the 2013 reform bill, the judicial system in South Dakota has adopted new practices relating to incarceration for minor offenses, extended use of probation, pre-trial monitoring and a variety of other creative approaches in hopes of unburdening the criminal justice system. This has been an eight-year process and did not happen in just the five or so years Pennington County has been receiving MacArthur funding [Steve Allender, “It’s Not About Grants, Criminal Justice Is Never Easy,” Rapid City Journal, 2021.07.17].
But the Uhre family has continued to spread this bunk. In his response to Mayor Allender last July, Grand Gateway owner Nick Uhre suggested the MacArthur money is somehow a leftist plot to kill us all with “critical race theory”:
Is Critical Race Theory now in use in our local Criminal Justice System? Is it because of the policies dictated by grants received by the County from the private non-profit MacArthur Foundation?
…MacArthur is clearly a leftist agenda-driven organization. Is their vision of “Justice Reform” what the citizens of Rapid City want? Is it beneficial to the well-being of our community? MacArthur is not accountable to the voters, yet they are driving policy decisions in our county criminal justice system. How will MacArthur leverage their Safety and Justice Challenge Network in the future? Since the advent of MacArthur’s influence on local law enforcement, we’ve seen a huge rise in vagrancy, property crime rates have skyrocketed, violent crime and murders like the brutal killing of Reta McGovern in her own home are far more common.
Criminals are emboldened to offend because they are more aware of the arrest restrictions and racial quotas imposed on law enforcement than the average citizens who become their victims [Nick Uhre, “Racial Quotas in Law Enforcement Are Emboldening Offenders,” Rapid City Journal, 2021.07.28].
Uhre is also chairman of Concerned Businesses of Rapid City, Inc., a non-profit he organized on February 1, 2021, with Outback Steakhouse proprietor Jasmine Stangle and hail repairman Duane Langenfeld. Perhaps the other concerned businesses that are part of this non-profit should express concern to their chairman and his family that openly declaring a ban on Indians isn’t good for anyone’s business in Rapid City… except the civil rights lawyers who may rain fire on the Grand Gateway and Cheers shortly.