HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — Douglas County School Board Director Kevin Leung has filed a police report following what he describes as a racist incident at a closed election forum at Wind Crest Senior Living Community on Oct. 20.
“During the forum, I noticed an elderly gentleman who was causing a disturbance,” Leung said.
Leung, who is currently running for re-election, said the man stopped him after the forum.
“He told me how awful our school district was and talked about our former superintendent, who so happens to be African American, and then he started in on me,” Leung said. "Finally, he said to me, 'You are not qualified at all and you don’t even speak English.'"
Leung said he then took out his phone to record the encounter.
“That’s when he assaulted me and took away my cellular phone,” Leung said.
Leung said witnesses to the incident called security, but when guards arrived the man was already gone.
“This elderly gentleman is saying something that’s so hurtful and to me — it is a racist statement. To me, it also tells people like me who have an accent, who are immigrants, that we are not qualified to serve, and we do not belong. That is the message that many people feel,” Leung said.
According to Wind Crest, the man is not a resident of the community. Leung said the community also banned the man from future events.
Leung filed a report with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and said he is speaking out because these incidents often go unreported and he wants to be an example for the students he represents.
“The reason why I’m standing up is because we teach our students they need to grow up to be a productive citizen and stand for what is right,” Leung said.
Following the incident, members of the Republican party, to which Leung belongs, began sharing a blog post on social media that claims Leung was the aggressor of the incident. A TRACER filing lists Leung's candidacy as nonpartisan.
The post does not list an author or references to sources.
Leung denies these claims and said the post further perpetuates racist stereotypes.
“It sometimes makes me wonder whether people like me, immigrants, belong at all… because instead of doing the right thing and helping the victims, because of political reasons, because they don’t support me, they turned a victim into a villain. That is truly against American principles,” Leung said.
Leung is the only Colorado elected official of Asian descent who was born in another country.
“I’m so grateful of being an American. I mean, I live the American dream. I grew up very poor in Hong Kong and I am so grateful four years ago the voters entrusted me to serve,” Leung said.
Leung said he just wants people to be kind to each other, no matter their background.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is aware of the incident and on Thursday, said charges are forthcoming. No arrests have been made.