After a Golden billboard displaying a pro-life message was vandalized for the second time in a week, two Republican candidates for state and U.S. House seats held a press event in front of the …
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After a Golden billboard displaying a pro-life message was vandalized for the second time in a week, two Republican candidates for state and U.S. House seats held a press event in front of the billboard where they decried the threat posed by violence and vandalism they say is spreading from Denver into Golden and other suburban communities.
“This type of activity, it may start with a billboard, but eventually it’s going to be in your home and then after that it is going to be on you,” said Casper Stockham, the Republican candidate running against Ed Perlmutter for the 7th Congressional District seat. “So that’s why it is important to call attention to this now and put a stop to it now before it goes any further.”
Perlmutter put out a public statement following the death of George Floyd and the protests that spread nationwide afterwards, calling for police restraint and protestors to remain peaceful. He also gave public support for several house bills, addressing police brutality and racial inequality, including the Justice in Policing Act.
According to Laurel Imer, the Republican candidate for Colorado House District 24 (which includes Golden and Wheat Ridge), one side of the two-sided pro-life billboard at the intersection of South Golden Road and Mount Vernon Road had been vandalized on the night of Aug. 10. That time, the eyes of baby shown on the billboard had been blacked out and a joint had been drawn in its mouth while the words “Feed Me Fetus” and “Abort Us All” had been written on it.
Imer said the billboard image was removed after that initial vandalism. However, the same side of the now-blank billboard was again vandalized Friday with an image of a pig and the anti-police term “ACAB” (All Cops are Bastards).
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Michael Taplin confirmed that sheriff’s deputies had taken a report, but there is no suspect information.
“So unless anyone comes forward with any info, taking a report is about all we can do,” Taplin told Colorado Community Media.
“This is coming into our lives and it needs to stop,” said Imer during the conference. “I stand for law and order and I stand for prosecuting those who vandalize private property and public property.
Imer said she had become concerned about vandalism and other destructive behavior coming out to Jefferson County after attending a recent pro-police rally where police were told to stand down against counter protesters, which she said had participated in vandalism. However, Imer said she was fully supportive of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, which she said “will not stand down in the face of this.”
Both Imer and Stockham said they are supportive of people’s free speech rights and peaceful protesting but are not supportive of violence and vandalism. Imer also took aim at her Democratic opponent and HD24 incumbent Monica Duran.
Imer said she claims that Duran wants to defund the police because Duran has “not been the violence caused by the rioters and domestic terrorists in our community” and “the fact that her party is pushing a platform to abolish the police and is a rubber stamp for their agenda until she says otherwise.”
“That is not the message that this community that I grew up in wants, this is not what the community residents represent,” Imer said. “It’s time for change so vote in November up and down the ticket red.”
Neither the state or national Democratic party’s most recent party platforms list “defunding the police” as a policy goal.
As of press time, Duran had not returned a call from Colorado Community Media asking for a response to Imer’s statement.
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