The co-owner of Rouses Supermarkets, Donald Rouse Sr., issued a statement Thursday afternoon after a photo showing him at Wednesday’s pro-Trump demonstration at the U.S. Capitol went viral — setting off a social media furor and calls to boycott the store.
In the statement, Rouse condemned the violence and said he left before the crowd stormed the Capitol.
Lamar White Jr., the editor of Bayou Brief, posted a photo on Twitter of Rouse and a former Rouses executive, Steve Galtier, from Galtier’s now-deleted Facebook page. Galtier had posted it to show that not everyone at the protest was maskless.
It set off tweet after tweet from New Orleanians wondering where they were going to buy their groceries now that they are boycotting the Louisiana-based supermarket chain, which has store on North Carrollton Avenue.
Rouse’s statement is below:
I attended the rally yesterday as a supporter of the president and to be in our nation’s capital at the close of his presidency. I left before the violence began and was shocked and saddened to see it unfold on TV. I condemn the actions of those who unlawfully entered and damaged our hallowed institutions and threatened our public servants. Violence and destruction do not represent our country’s values, or the values of Rouses.
Though I am no longer involved in the day-to-day operations of Rouses, that’s my family’s name on the building and my actions reflect on my family, Rouses and this community I love so dearly. I’m horrified by the violence and destruction we saw yesterday and the pain it has caused so many. Our country desperately needs to come together to heal, and I will do everything I can to be a part of that process.