Owners of Denver home tagged with racist graffiti hope to create ‘teachable moment’

DENVER -- City officials are sounding off after a Denver home was tagged with racist graffiti over the weekend.

Despite several offers to clean it up, the homeowners said they want the spray-paint to stay, for now. That’s because they want to spark a conversation on the roots of racism.

“It just shakes up your reality,” victim, Devin Meade said.

The “n word” is scrawled in blue paint. There’s a cartoon images of a lynching. All of this covers a home on Fillmore Street in the Clayton Neighborhood of Denver.

“We’ve been flooded with people. Driving by. Taking pictures. I had a lady come up with flowers,” Meade said.

Devin and her husband, Ken, are overwhelmed to see the outpouring of positive support from strangers – even Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Councilman, Albus Brooks, are fired up over the crime.

"What happened in Clayton is unconscionable and an affront to everything Denver stands for," Mayor Hancock tweeted. "Our citywide impact team will increase support for neighbors while our DPD detectives who specialize in bias-motivated crimes investigate."

Brooks posted the following to Facebook:

This is despicable, and has NO place in our city or neighborhood.

Denver Police will be conducting a full investigation and we will have the Public Works Graffiti unit clean this right away.

We will not let hate rule in our neighborhoods.

#ClaytonNeighborhood

“I just thought it was despicable,” Brooks said.

Brooks says the city’s Public Works graffiti unit will clean it up, but two days have passed and it’s still there.

“My preference would be to remove this immediately just because we don’t want this to fester into anything else,” Brooks said.

But the victims are holding off on the cleanup, for now. They want this to be a teachable moment.

“I’ve watched white families, Hispanic families all come up here with their children small children to show this and explain it and talk about it,” Ken Jenkis said.

“I think that this is a human rights issue and I think everyone should be disturbed by it whether they’re part of this racial group that’s identified in this way or not,” Meade said.

At the same time, they want full punishment for the person responsible.

“That noose is a death threat – and I have two of them drawn on my property right now,” Meade said.

Denver police are investigating this as a possible hate crime. They’ve increased up patrols in the neighborhood and are asking anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP(7867).

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