Kathryn Scott, special to the gazette The pedestal covered in graffiti sits alone after crews remove the Civil War statue that rested on top in front of the Colorado State Capitol in June in Denver. The statue had been toppled the night before.

The state Capitol will be cleaned and washed “as quickly as possible," a spokesperson for Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said, after a Republican lawmaker and others complained bitterly that graffiti and other damage inflicted weeks ago during protests over police misconduct had not been addressed.

“It’s not only a disgrace, but it’s embarrassing," state Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg told KCNC-TV. "Nobody is being held accountable, and that you and I as taxpayers have to foot the bill.”

The building's granite walls are covered in graffiti, windows and lights are shattered, and monuments and memorials are defaced or destroyed.


Colorado Capitol complex heavily damaged by protests

A spokesperson for Polis’ office said the governor is “outraged” and “frustrated” and “has directed that our Capitol is cleaned and washed as quickly as possible, and the building further fortified.”

Ronald Craft, a native of Denver, told the station there’s no excuse for the damage or the delay in cleaning it up. “It could been done a long time ago,” he said.

"I’m with the George Floyd thing all the way, but this is not what they are about. Governor, I’ll come down and help.”

Colorado State Patrol says it has troopers on duty around-the-clock outside the building, but it won’t risk them or others being injured for property crimes. Denver police say there has been one arrest.

The delay in cleaning up the graffiti and other damage has been due needing to figure out how much insurance will cover, as well as obtaining contracts for the repairs, according to Doug Platt, spokesman for the Department of Personnel and Administration, which manages the Capitol Complex of nine buildings. Eight of the nine buildings were damaged during the protests in May and June, although graffiti continues to be sprayed on the state Capitol building and grounds. Platt said that's part of the reason for the delay, too: they were waiting for protests to end so that they weren't having to do the job twice. 

State Democratic Rep. Susan Lontine of Denver chairs the Capitol Building Advisory Committee and said they will be discussing the damage at their next meeting in August.

Colorado Politics statehouse reporter Marianne Goodland contributed to this report.

Load comments