President Trump may be the new face of our nation, but it seems even the sight of his name is too much for some Americans.
In eastern Maryland, The Baltimore Sun reports that two teenagers face a laundry list of charges for setting fire to a Trump campaign sign early on the morning of April 14.
Why this particular case is catching national attention, however, is because the duo has also been charged with a hate crime:
The two 19-year-olds, Joy Shuford and D'Asia Perry, allegedly committed their crimes on the property of Princess Anne resident Robert Wink, a Republican who posted the sign outside of his sporting goods store.
The local Delmarva Daily Times reports:
Former [University of Maryland Eastern Shore] student Joy Shuford was so adamant about destroying a Trump billboard along a busy roadway in Princess Anne that when she lacked the physical might to tear it down, she reached for a cigarette lighter to set it on fire, according to documents filed in Somerset County District Court.
A security camera allowed police to identify Perry on Friday, while Shuford turned herself in the following day.
In explaining why the hate crime charge applied to their alleged offenses, a police officer wrote in their filing papers:
The intentional burning of these political signs, along with the beliefs, religious views and race of this political affiliation, directly coincides with the victim.
Still, not everyone thinks that politics should be a motivating enough reason to elicit a hate crime charge:
Nonetheless, the charges the two women face are extensive, including multiple counts of arson, malicious burning, destruction of property, and trespassing — all in addition to the hate crime charges.
If convicted, the two women could reportedly each face fines in excess of $40,000, and up to 33 years in prison.
Interestingly enough, Wink, the owner of the store, said that — while an attached advertisement for former Senate candidate Kathy Szeliga was blistered and burnt — the Trump campaign sign itself “wasn't too badly damaged.”