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By Joe Nunez
We need leadership from Denver’s mayor and our governor. Recent events have shown how weak and out of touch Mayor Michael Hancock and Gov. Jared Polis are with what is occurring locally and nationally.
With the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, numerous demonstrations have taken place throughout the U.S., to include Denver. This has led to calls for the abolishment/defunding of police departments by radical groups such as the Marxist Black Lives Matter, antifa, and several politicians.
In Denver, the state Capitol building had windows broken and obscene graffiti spray painted on exterior walls and the staircases 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 a rather large tent city. I saw graffiti on the base of the statue of Joe P. Martinez, one of Colorado’s Medal of Honor recipients.
Mayor Hancock told CBS4 that many of the camps wer disease infested and not all the campers were homeless, or from Denver. He said that city workers were prevented from entering the camps and that “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 — include the mayors of Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Washington, D.C. — calling for federal forces to leave their cities.
Sunday morning news (July 26): “Protests erupt across the country…”; “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.” A mass shooting occurred in Chicago injuring at least 14 people.
Chicago Mayor Lightfoot had police protect her house as protesters include antifa and Black Lives Matter gathered. Lightfoot ordered that a statue of Christopher Columbus be taken down. Chicago Alderman Raymond Lopez tweeted: “What has become of Chicago? We have a mayor forced into submission by anarchy & mob-rule?”
So Hancock followed the lead of these incompetent mayors, knowing of the danger present among the campers around our state Capitol? That is not the kind of leadership that we need.
On July 19, the Sixth Annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Day rally was being held, but was immediately disrupted by BLM, antifa, the Party for Socialism and Liberation and the Afro-Liberation Front demonstrators. 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?
Gov. Polis, when asked if he tolerated 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.” As reported in Westword, Polis also said he would welcome the removal of tents from the Capitol grounds, but that his understanding of Denver laws related to urban camping wasn’t strong. He stated “I don’t follow Denver politics.” What an incredibly weak response from our governor.
After several weeks of inaction, they have started to remove the obscene graffiti at the state Capitol and to remove the tent city. Why has it taken so long to remove the graffiti? Why haven’t the Capitol grounds been restored? Why haven’t the broken windows been replaced? There is no excuse for the lack of initiative and leadership by Mr Polis.
Yes Coloradans, we need to wake up.
Joe Nunez is a former state representative. He resides in Littleton.
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