COLORADO SPRINGS — Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017 — Gov. Hickenlooper, Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, and Colorado Springs Police Chief Pete Carey offered the following statement in response to recent anti-Semitic activities in Colorado Springs.
“We write today to take a stand after Temple Beit Torah was the target of hateful vandalism when its sign was defaced with Nazi graffiti. Numerous cars around the Temple also were painted with swastikas and racial epithets. It is the second incident at a synagogue in Colorado Springs in less than a month. In July, an alleged white supremacist was arrested in Colorado Springs for putting an anti-Semitic sticker on the door of the Chabad Lubavitch of Southern Colorado. These hateful activities have come during a time of increasing anti-Semitic and racially-motivated attacks in Colorado and around the nation. The Anti-Defamation League Mountain States Region reports that anti-Semitic incidents in Colorado have increased at an alarming rate, with 18 such activities in 2015 and 45 in 2016. If the trend continues, we expect there will be more than 60 incidents in 2017. This is unacceptable.
“The City of Colorado Springs and State of Colorado are proud of the diversity of our residents. Colorado law expressly provides for the right of every person, regardless of their religion, race, color, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation to be protected from intimidation, harassment and physical harm. We are committed to the full enforcement of these laws.
“All Coloradans have a stake in an effective response to such hateful bigotry. Crimes that are motivated by bias reach well beyond the particular victim or targeted place of worship. These crimes send a message to an entire community that may leave it feeling isolated, vulnerable and unprotected.
“As the elected leaders of this city and state, as well as the chief law enforcement officer of Colorado Springs, we want to make it clear that the Jewish people are important members of our wonderful and diverse communities. Hate crimes will not be tolerated in Colorado Springs or elsewhere in our beautiful state. We are all committed to using the full power of our offices, and the laws of our city and state, to stand up to hateful activities and crimes.”