DENVER (KDVR) — Vice President of the Denver Public Schools Board of Education, Auon’tai Anderson, received a ticket for speeding in a school zone near Montbello High School.
According to the traffic citation, on Tuesday at 7:35 a.m., Anderson was ticketed for speeding 10 to 14 mph over the speed limit at the intersection of North Crown Boulevard and East 50th Avenue.
The intersection sits on the corner of Montbello High School, which is a part of Denver Public Schools.
Montbello High welcomed back students to campus for the first day of school on Tuesday, the same day as the citation.
In a statement to FOX31, Anderson said he was “trying to get to the school before 1,200 + families and educators arrived on the campus” for the first time. You can read his full statement below.
Anderson’s citation said the posted speed for that school zone area is 25 mph, and Anderson was driving 35 mph.
The citation includes four points against Anderson’s driving report and a fine of $285, which can be appealed.
Anderson released the following statement:
Yesterday, while heading to Montbello High School, I was the subject of a traffic stop outside of the building for going over the speed limit by 10 mph as I was trying to get to the school before 1,200 + families and educators arrived on the campus to welcome our scholars back to school alongside my colleagues.
As a Black man in America, I was raised that when you encounter law enforcement, you must remain calm and ensure that your hands are visible at all times. This is because, time and time again, Black Americans have been the ongoing victims of police brutality. I did just that and even asked permission to retrieve my documents to provide to the officer. However, I was disappointed by a comment that the officer made as my hands were raised, and that was him calling police brutality in the Black community a “myth.” I have contacted Denver Police to review the footage to ensure that no other person within our communities is subjected to insensitive remarks like that in the future.
Montbello High School has re-opened for the first time in ten years and serves a majority of students of color. I share the concerns of educators from the community on the optics of police officers being visible outside the school building on the first day of school. I can empathize with the hesitation or fear some students, families, and educators may have experienced. However, I am grateful that educators asked the police officers to leave the front of the school.”
Finally, I look forward to ensuring that our focus remains centered on the students of the Denver Public Schools.Denver School Board Vice President Auon’tai Anderson
In 2021, Anderson was elected vice president of the Denver School Board, making him the youngest person to hold the position.
FOX31 reached out to the Denver Police Department requesting body camera footage of the incident, and DPD responded back with the following statement:
“The Denver Police Department has reviewed body-worn camera video of this interaction and it does not appear the officer violated policy. However, further review and dialogue will take place to help ensure the experiences and perspectives of those we contact are handled in a sensitive manner.”
Anderson formerly went by the name “Tay” but recently began using his birth name of Auon’tai. In an announcement he said using the name “Tay” was often related to people’s inability to pronounce his full name and in some cases “erased” his Black heritage. Anderson said the decision to begin using his birth name is part of reclaiming his identity.