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Aurora family targeted with hate graffiti twice in 7 days

Police Chief: We will not tolerate this activity
Posted at 7:42 PM, Nov 30, 2016

AURORA, Colo. -- Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan is speaking out against hate graffiti, after a local family was victimized twice in seven days.

“We want to make clear we do not, and will not, tolerate this kind of activity in the City of Aurora,” Hogan said.

Last week, the victim told Denver7 that a vandal used spray paint to scrawl the letters – KKK and a racial slur on the front door of her apartment at Sonoma Resort at Saddle Rock.

“It’s very insensitive and disturbing,” she said, adding that the vandals left a note saying, “Watch your back.”

Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz said the same home was targeted again Tuesday night.

“The type of language used definitely creates a great deal of concern for us,” said Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz.

Metz said there have been 25 bias-motivated graffiti incidents in Aurora since Nov. 30 of 2015 and that six of them have occurred since Election Day.

“I can’t say whether… it’s directly attributed to the election,” Metz said. “This has been a very contentious year in politics. Communities have seen division and I think some of that has spilled into what has happened in this community.”

Metz added that APD will devote the resources necessary to try to solve the case.

“APD takes these crimes seriously,” he said.  

The chief also reached out for help.

"Somebody knows something," he said. "Every little bit of information helps."

The head of Aurora's Community Relations Division told Denver7 that hate graffiti affects many people.

"If it affects me, it can affect you," Barbara Shannon-Banister said. "There are many others who feel the same exasperation, the same fear and the same 'being put-upon' by people who want to exert authority over us."

Shannon-Banister told Denver7 that vandals who damage property with hate graffiti are trying to send this message about authority: "I'm putting you in your place. This is where I think you need to be and this is what I'm going to say to you, to show you, so you can stay in your place."

Shannon-Banister added that that message doesn't work.

"I'm a human being," she said, "and you're not going to put me in my place. Only God can do that."

"Hateful graffiti has no place in our city," Mayor Hogan said. "We will do everything in our power to make sure we address it and that anyone who engages in it is prosecuted and that they face the penalties that go along with that prosecution."

"Let me be clear," Hogan said. "We will not allow anyone to be victimized based on the way they look, or what they believe."

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