St. Louis, MO – A police-supporting St. Louis store owner who flew an American Thin Blue Line flag outside her shop was threatened for the second time in less than two weeks, when someone threw a rock through her store window on Tuesday morning.
“You’ve Been Warned,” a letter attached to the rock read, according to KTVI. The message also included the letters “MLM,” an abbreviation for Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, and a crudely drawn communist party symbol of a hammer and sickle.
Cherri Elder, the owner of Elder’s Antiques, said that her family has owned the business for 32 years, and that she has formed relationships with the police who patrol the area, KMOV reported.
She decided to show her support for those officers by flying a Thin Blue Line Flag in front of the store during the summer of 2017, and that’s when the harassment started.
“I’ve gone from sad to scared to frightened to defiant and circled back through the emotions all day long,” Elder told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The threats have become far too commonplace in the neighborhood, she said.
On Feb. 17, someone left a note on her shop’s front door that read, “PIG SUPPORTERS NOT WELCOME FLAG GOES DOWN OR YOU GO DOWN!”
“You’ve Been Warned,” a second note at her store’s back door said.
Like the most recent threat, both of the earlier notes also included references to communist parties, KTVI reported.
Elder isn’t the only one having trouble. Nearby, DeMay Ltd. Furs & Antiques had their flag stolen and their front window smashed on Jan. 4.
No arrests have been made in connection with the incidents, but St. Louis Police Captain Shawn Dace said that the rock and notes have been sent to a crime lab for further analysis, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
There will also be increased patrols in the area, Capt. Dace said.
Elder said that she was forced to board up the windows to her business, but that she isn’t about to cave to the threats – or to relinquish her support for the law enforcement officers in her community.
“If they burn our building down, in the middle of the ash, we will put up a flag,” she said.