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Reverend Wants Vandalism Left Up For Reminder Of Battle Against Racism

By Jeff Todd

DENVER (CBS4) - Nearly one year to the day, a Denver church and its sign supporting the Black Lives Matter movement were vandalized in the same way.

"This is absolutely targeted," said Rev. Mike Morran with the First Unitarian Society of Denver. "Last year they had a little bit better aim … their red paint was specifically aimed at the black in Black Lives Matter. This year they were sloppier, but their intent was identical in my opinion."

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Red paint can be seen across the sign and onto the nearly 150-year-old building made out of Castle Rock rhyolite.

"It's quite possible that our political stance, or spiritual stance, on the Black Lives Matter has infuriated someone to the point where they feel like they have to vandalize our building in the middle of the night and then run away," Morran said.

The porous rock still has stains from the vandalism from early November 2015. After that attack the local Denver chapter of Black Lives Matter organized a clean-up effort. But this time Morran wants to leave the paint up.

(credit: CBS)

"I think it's a reminder of the battle that still needs to be waged. If I could speak for the congregation, it's a statement that we choose to make as a community of faith to whomever might be interested." Morran said. "We live in a country where systemic racism has been a part of our national DNA since before its inception. That has not changed. There is no meaningful measure at which racial equality has been achieved in this country."

(credit: CBS)

Morran said he filed another police report but with no surveillance video in the area it's unlikely anyone will be caught.

The Black Lives Matter chapter told CBS4 it wasn't ready to comment on the vandalism.

Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he's been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.

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