Colorado Springs police are looking into who vandalized Red Rocks Canyon Open Space with "Black lives matter" graffiti last weekend.
Phrases of "Black lives matter too!" and "BLM" were discovered spray-painted on rocks in the park Sunday, the same day efforts to deface the Colorado Springs Police Department's operations center were found, police department spokesman Sgt. Jason Newton said.
While the department wants everyone's voice to be heard, the vandalism is "definitely disappointing," he said. "We're hoping someone saw something or knows something." Anyone with information are asked to call police.
"It's a national monument, basically," Newton said of the park off U.S. 24 on the west side of Colorado Springs.
The paint can be cleaned off of the rocks, but "it takes a little of the rock face off," he said. "It's going to be damaged forever."
City parks don't have security cameras because "you don't want to go to a park and be under surveillance," he said.
The vandalism of the park and the operations center may be connected, Newton said, adding that incidents of graffiti and vandalism have occurred in the past few weeks, particularly downtown and on the city's west side.
Suspects have not been identified in either case.
Windows were smashed at police headquarters and the El Paso County courthouse earlier this month, and City Hall and the Gen. Palmer statue downtown were tagged with spray paint after protests were held over the Memorial Day killing of George Floyd, a black Minneapolis man who died while being restrained in police custody. Demonstrations have remained mostly peaceful, with vandalism occurring at night after most protesters had gone home.
Rock formations at Paint Mines Interpretive Park near Calhan also have been vandalized with graffiti. A hiker spotted human-made markings on several of the rock formations earlier this week. A blue heart can be seen on one of the rocks, along with purple streaks. The word “love” was painted on another large rock formation. Read more here.
The Gazette's Doug Fitzgerald contributed to this report.