We need leadership from the mayor of Denver and the governor of Colorado. Recent events in Denver have shown how weak and out of touch Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Gov. Jared Polis are, with what is occurring locally and nationally.
With the tragic unnecessary death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, numerous demonstrations took place throughout the U.S., to include Denver. This led to calls for the abolishment and/or defunding of police departments by radical groups to include the Marxist Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and several out of touch politicians.
In Denver, the state Capitol building had windows broken and obscene graffiti spray painted on exterior walls and the stair cases leading into the Capitol.
On July 23, my wife and I drove by the state Capitol and we were appalled at how awful the grounds and the Capitol building looked. Windows were boarded up and obscene graffiti was very visible. As we drove by on Broadway, we saw numerous tents and young individuals camped out, doing nothing, just loafing.
I saw graffiti on the base of the Joe P. Martinez statue, one of Colorado’s Medal of Honor recipients. I heard, but don’t know if it’s true, that police had to stop “protesters” from pulling the statue down.
Mayor Hancock told CBS4 that some of the people camped out “around Denver” have an agenda that has nothing to do with homelessness. He said that many of the camps are disease infested and not all the campers are homeless, or from Denver. City workers are prevented from entering the camps and “campers” “bait police”. “This is very intentional. ... they want to provoke the city. ... they want to provoke law enforcement.” So, what does Hancock do? He signs onto a letter with 13 other mayors calling for “federal forces to leave”.
How many mayors are there in the U.S.? Hundreds, maybe even thousands? Among those illustrious mayors are the mayors of Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and others who have not done their jobs.
Sunday morning headlines – “Protests erupt across the country in Portland, Seattle, Chicago & Louisville, Ky.” “Seattle police declared a riot, citing ‘ongoing damage and public safety risks. 16 protesters arrested for assaulting police officers. Crowd continues to throw/launch mortars and rocks at officers.” Earlier, “the Seattle police announced that residents and business owners were essentially on their own”. A mass shooting occurred in Chicago injuring at least 14 people.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered police to protect the area around her house as a thousand protesters gathered to include Antifa and Black Lives Matter. At the same time, Lightfoot ordered that a statue of Christopher Columbus be taken down. Chicago Alderman Raymond Lopez stated “What has become of Chicago? We have a mayor forced into submission by anarchy & mob-rule?”
So Hancock is following the lead of these incompetent mayors even though he knows of the danger present among the campers around our state Capitol? That is not the kind of leadership that we need.
On July 19, Coloradans attempted to hold what was billed as the 6th Annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Day rally. It was immediately disrupted by BLM and Antifa demonstrators to include members of groups identified as the Party for Socialism and Liberation and the Afro-Liberation Front. Several of the pro-police group were physically assaulted and injured. Denver police did not provide adequate protection to the pro-police group. Later, a Denver police union leader confirmed that the police had received a ‘stand down’ order. One police Lieutenant defied the order and his men attempted to protect the pro-police group, otherwise there most likely would have been more people assaulted and injured. How ironic is it that Denver police failed to protect people who were there to show their support for police officers? This lack of leadership goes all the way up to Mayor Hancock. How sad!
I strongly encourage you to drive by our state Capitol and see firsthand the results of the lack of leadership by Mayor Hancock and Gov. Polis. Colorado deserves better!
Gov. Polis, when asked if he tolerates vandalism done to state buildings during the recent Black Lives Matter protests, answered “I have zero tolerance for unlawful behavior, and I hope any perpetrators of unlawful behavior, whether it’s defacing buildings or engaging in violence or crimes, are apprehended and charged.” Polis also said he would welcome the removal of tents from the Capitol grounds, but admitted that his understanding of the current law in Denver related to urban camping isn’t strong. He stated “I don’t follow Denver politics”. What an incredibly weak response from our governor.
Why hasn’t all the horrible graffiti on the capitol building been removed? Why haven’t the Capitol grounds been restored? Why haven’t the broken windows been replaced? Is Governor Polis attempting to show solidarity with the thugs that caused all of the damage?
Yes, Coloradans need to wake up!
Jose (Joe) Nunez is a former State Representative who lives in Littleton.