RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) – A class action lawsuit has been filed against a South Dakota hotel linked to racist social media posts.
Early Saturday morning, a shooting happened near the Grand Gateway Hotel. A person was found shot and seriously injured in one of the hotel rooms. After that, one of the owners made several comments on Facebook threatening to ban all Native Americans from the hotel and Cheers Sports Bar.
Police say the victim, who survived, and the suspect are Native American.
On Wednesday, a crowd of people marched through the city to show support for indigenous communities and people of color.
“We had a really good turnout here today. It was peaceful. It was powerful. We shared a lot of songs and we came here to show unity for our people. A lot of people are here with us in spirit. Today turned out really really good,” Nick Tilsen, CEO of NDN Collective, said.
Photos courtesy Sydney Thorson/KELO
The lawsuit, filed after the crowd gathered, gives examples of the hotel turning away Native American customers, including a woman named Sunny Red Bear. The lawsuit claims she was discriminated against in violation of federal law.
A Rapid City group is behind the lawsuit, which can be seen below.
City, tribal and community leaders released a joint statement condemning and denouncing the social media posts, saying they are wrong and hurtful to Native Americans and only serve to divide people.
Nexstar’s KELO has reached out to the hotel for comment but hasn’t yet received a response.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.