Vandals threw bricks at the Nebraska Republican Party headquarters and spray-painted “Abolish ICE” outside the office early Tuesday morning, causing about $1,200 in damage, officials said.
At least two bricks were used to smash through one window and break another of the downtown Lincoln, Nebraska, office, Nebraska GOP executive director Kenny Zoeller told Fox News. “Abolish ICE,” referring to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, was spray-painted in red on the city sidewalk outside the office.
“I wish I could tell you I was surprised, but I’m not,” Zoeller said, criticizing the “national rhetoric” of late, particularly calls from Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., to “push back” against members of the Trump administration because of its immigration policies.
The administration was heavily criticized by those on both sides of the aisle after thousands of minors were separated from their families at the border after crossing it illegally. After national outrage, Trump signed an executive order in late June allowing families to remain together in detention.
Zoeller said given the location of the state Republican Party’s office, he’s seen minor vandalism before, such as stickers or posters stuck on windows and doors. In December 2017, a vandal spray-painted “Resist” – the common rallying cry among those who do not support the White House – on office windows.
“We’ve been prepared for something like this to happen,” he said.
Jane Kleeb, chairwoman of the Nebraska Democratic Party, condemned the vandalism in a statement to the Omaha World-Herald.
“I think it’s a terrifying place that our country is in right now, where people are resorting to violence, vandalism and death threats to political leaders, staff members and candidates,” Kleeb said. “And it's happening to all of us.”
Zoeller noted that the vandalism will also cost taxpayers money for the use of the police officers and cleanup of glass and paint on the sidewalks.
Lincoln police were alerted to the destruction shortly after 3 a.m. by a passing newspaper carrier, a police spokeswoman told Fox News. Officers are combing the area for witnesses and surveillance footage and have found where they believe the bricks came from but have not yet identified a suspect.
Anyone with information about the vandalism is encouraged to call the Lincoln Police Department at 402-441-6000.