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Burned Pamphlets Left On Abolish Slavery Colorado Co-Chair's Doorstep

By Jamie Leary

DENVER (CBS4)- A family is outraged after someone left a pile of burning amendment pamphlets on their front porch the day before Election Day.

The pamphlets, door hangers for Amendment A, Colorado's anti-slavery amendment, were set on fire on the front porch of the amendment's author.

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Jumoke Emery-Brown, the co-chair for Abolish Slavery Colorado and the originator of Amendment A, says his wife found the burning pamphlets and he is upset.

PHOTO GALLERY: Election Day In Colorado 2018

arson police
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"When she went over to our front porch, she found the 'Amendment A' literature, still smoking, still smoldering and at that point, called me, I ran home and saw it for myself."

Jumoke Emery-Brown (credit: CBS)

Emery says the incident happen around 3:30 p.m. Monday.

"It was still light out, in the middle of the day, broad daylight," Emery continued after taking a deep breath, "Someone had the audacity to come to my home and attempt to terrorize us, attempt to intimidate us."

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While he hopes an investigation will yield some answers, he also hopes his story is shared.

"There are folks here in our country, here in our state, here in our city who would rather perpetrate violence, terrorism, intimidation, than abolish slavery from our state constitution and that's what's important to me."

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Together Colorado, a backer of the amendment, posted the following statement on its website Tuesday: As a faith-driven organization, we are called to reconciliation and healing, and it is thus particularly painful when confronted with the kind of hate that is behind today's incident of burned Amendment A door hangers left at the home of one of our African American co-chairs, Jumoke Emery-Brown.

On Monday evening we received terrible and frightening news. One of our previous organizers and Abolish Slavery Colorado co-chairs, Jumoke Emery-Brown, was the subject of what appears to be a racially motivated threat. A stack of Amendment A door hangers was burned on his front porch. We are thankful that no one was hurt, but we are appalled that this happened.

Given the political and racial context in which we live today, we consider this act shameful and dangerous. This act is reminiscent of the days when black organizers were regular targets of threats and violence from white supremacists. We see tonight's injustice as an attempt to scare a black family and as a symbolic attack against Amendment A and what it stands for.

This hateful incident is intrinsically tied to Amendment A. Amendment A represents reconciliation and moving forward as a state. It represents our values as Colorado. We have an opportunity to denounce the legacy of bigotry and hatred at the polls when we vote on Tuesday and vote Yes on A, to Abolish Slavery from our Constitution.

We must stand together, heal together and vote together.

(credit: CBS)

Emery-Brown says he called the Denver Police Department who initially decided not to investigate it as a hate crime and referred him to the Denver Fire Department's arson investigation unit.

police burned pamphlets
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Just before noon, the Denver police bias motivated crime team was on scene investigating.

Jamie Leary joined the CBS4 team in 2015 and currently works as a reporter for CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. She couldn't imagine a better place to live and work and will stop at nothing to find the next great story. Jamie loves learning about and hearing from her fellow community members, so connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @JamieALeary.

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