A home in northeast Denver used to blend into the neighborhood, but over the weekend, it stood out for an awful reason. Racist, hateful words and symbols were spray-painted on the house on Fillmore Street Saturday evening.
“I definitely don’t feel safe in my house now,” said Devin Meade.
Meade and her husband Ken Jenkins were home with their two kids Saturday. Their dogs started to bark which Jenkins said prompted him to go outside.
He said he noticed the front gate to the house was wide open. Then, he saw the N-word and a spray-painted image of a person being hanged.
“[My husband] tried to prepare me,” Meade recalled. “He said, ‘take a deep breath before you see this.’”
Meade said she felt mortified.
Denver Police responded to the home Saturday evening, a spokeswoman said. Detectives with the department’s bias-motivated crime unit are investigating.
“This was just a reminder that it’s not history, it’s present as well,” Meade said. “Racism is real.”
In addition to the home, several wooden doors and boards placed in the front yard were defaced with racist graffiti. Jenkins told 9NEWS the boards were intended to block the view of a neighbor across the street with whom he and his wife had a long-term dispute.
“It’s been ongoing,” Meade said. “We’ve had police contact at least three times a week since the 19th of August.”
A Denver Police spokeswoman couldn’t comment on whether the neighbor dispute had anything to do with the vandalism. Detectives spent several hours at the scene Sunday and were seen entering and exiting the neighbor’s home.
A graffiti removal crew with the city offered to clean up the hateful graffiti, but Meade turned them down.
“I do eventually want it off the house, but I think that it’s important for people to know that this still occurs,” she said. “So, I would like for it to stay up for a while.”
Mead said she hopes the sight of the racist messages will lead to “awareness.”
“They need to know that Denver’s not as progressive and as moderate as we all think,” she said.