Chelsea Harris, a family friend and supporter of District 9 incumbent Albus Brooks, says she found racist fliers on cars in the Clayton neighborhood on Thursday that depict the councilman as a monkey.
“Time for this monkey to go!” the card states in bubble letters. It also says “Voto Latino,” which translates to “Latino Vote” in Spanish (as opposed to “Vote Latino”). Brooks’ face is crudely photoshopped on top of a cartoon monkey.
The logo of Brooks opponent Candi CdeBaca was also on the flier. CdeBaca denounced the flier and called it “disgusting.”
“If it’s someone who knows us and supports us, I denounce them,” CdeBaca said in an interview. “It’s not the kind of support I want or stand for. This is not from anybody who knows me or knows my family or the reasons that we’re running this campaign. It flies in the face of everything that we have really been trying to shed light on.”
CdeBaca identifies as indigenous. Her partner is black.
Brooks would not say who he thought was responsible. “I’m not going to speculate on who did this,” he wrote in a text message. “My job as a leader is to denounce hate.”
Speaking to a Denverite reporter by phone later, he added that he doesn’t think CdeBaca would engage in this kind of tactic.
Harris said the picture of the flier floating around the internet is hers. Gloria Neal, who is Mayor Michael Hancock’s director of public affairs — not a campaign worker — posted the photo on Facebook and blamed CdeBaca. She has since taken down the post.
In his own social media post, Brooks wrote, “I rarely allow the public to see how nasty the trolling, hatred, and attacks on me can get. You won’t see the threatening emails, (direct messages), or hateful comments that Facebook itself filters out as hate speech. But I see them all.
“This… is a new low.”
Brooks said Friday that his campaign handed the flier over to the Denver Police Department.
Harris said she found the fliers at 37th Avenue and Fillmore Street. A house in the same area was vandalized with racist, anti-black images and words in March. Reached by a Denverite reporter, Devin Meade, who lives there, said she didn’t see the fliers.
A Denverite reporter searched the area and did not find more of the fliers. Neighbors and staff at nearby businesses said they hadn’t seen or heard about the fliers.