Denver has paid nearly $30,000 to remove political graffiti

DENVER -- The Denver Police Department said it is dealing with some unusual fallout from the November election.

“Since (Donald) Trump and Hillary (Clinton) and the election and stuff, it’s just exploded,” Denver police Graffiti Unit Det. George Gray said.

“It” is political graffiti.

“There’s always an uptick during the election years a little bit, but this obviously was a lot more than we had seen in the past elections,” he said.

Since April 26, 2016, police have 200 documented cases of graffiti referencing Trump. Some of the markings are anti-Trump and some are in support of the president.

Trump-related graffiti has cost Denver $28,225 to clean it up. It costs the city $140 to remove a single piece of graffiti up to 50 square feet.

“I think people want to express themselves about Trump, pro or negative,” Gray said.

Police said Trump’s name appears on Denver’s streets 33 percent more than Clinton references. She only appeared in the database six times beginning on Aug. 8, 2016.

No matter whose name shows up in the tags, all of the political graffiti is adding to Denver’s overall problem.

“To the city. it’s bad because we have an increase in having to send our guys out there to clean it off,” Gray said.

Denver sees an average of 1.6 million square feet of graffiti each year, the equivalent of roughly $1.5 million in damages.

While the Trump-charged markings are really only a drop in the bucket, Gray said it is a noticeable increase.

“We see a lot of people out there probably doing it that probably wouldn’t have done it before," he said. "It’s just they think it’s a way of nonviolent protesting. But it’s still a crime and not good for our city.”