DENVER (CBS4) – State Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg has had it. Seven weeks after vandals began tagging and trashing the Colorado State Capitol, he fired off a letter to Gov. Jared Polis asking what’s the holdup in removing all the graffiti, and why isn’t the state doing more to stop it in the first place.
The State Capitol is almost unrecognizable. The granite walls are covered in graffiti, windows and lights are shattered, and monuments and memorials are defaced or destroyed. Night after night, the vandals have come back to cause more damage.
“I had to see it. Sad,” said John Perez, who went to survey the destruction. He wonders how long the state plans to let the vandals have their way. “You’re committing a crime. I think that needs to be dealt with, regardless of your age, your race, your color.”
Amen to that, says Sonnenberg.
“Why are we not protecting the building? Why are not making sure that these thugs that are hell-bent on destroying property aren’t being brought to justice?”
He put those questions to the governor, saying enough is enough with the vandalism and vulgarities.
“It’s not only a disgrace, but it’s embarrassing. Nobody is being held accountable, and that you and I as taxpayers have to foot the bill.”
Ronald Craft, a native of Denver, says there’s no excuse for the damage or the delay in cleaning it up.
“It could been done a long time ago. I’m with the George Floyd thing all the way, but this is not what they are about. Governor, I’ll come down and help.”
State workers aren’t even sure how to get the graffiti off since the stains have now set-in. They’re experimenting with different methods.
Perez’s message to the governor is simple.
“Take back the Capitol grounds. Take back the Capitol grounds.”
A spokesperson for Polis’ office said he was not available for an interview, but he said the governor is “outraged” and “frustrated” and “has directed that our Capitol is cleaned and washed as quickly as possible, and the building further fortified.”
Colorado State Patrol says it has troopers on duty around-the-clock outside the building, but it won’t risk them or others being injured for property crimes.
Denver police says it has made one arrest, and because graffiti is a municipal offense, the City Attorney’s office will make charging decisions.