CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS4) – A local woman faces misdemeanor tampering charges after she wrote a message to Colorado Congressman Ken Buck in chalk at his office in Castle Rock.READ MORE: ‘Finally Fix The Damn Roads In Colorado’: Gov. Jared Polis Targets Interstate 70 Stretch Between Floyd Hill And Idaho Springs At Bill Signing
In response to recent issues surrounding separation of children at the U.S. Border, Shauna Johnson wrote “Stop putting kids in cages, Ken Buck,” on the sidewalk. She signed the note with “Love, Jesus.”
Johnson told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas she wrote the message on the sidewalk outside Buck’s office after multiple attempts to meet him in person were unsuccessful.
“I had been calling my congressman’s office every day for a week,” Johnson said. “I have an affinity for kids. (Child separation) is just horrific.”
Shortly after writing the message on the sidewalk, Douglas County Deputies responded to Johnson’s home. The District Attorney’s office, and the sheriff’s office, confirmed a citation was issued for tampering.
“I don’t understand why I am being threatened with jail time for chalk,” Johnson said.
If proven guilty, Johnson could face up to one year in prison and a fine.
“The prosecution of somebody for writing on the sidewalk with chalk is really making a mountain out of a mole hill,” said Mark Silverstein, lawyer at the ACLU.READ MORE: Third Straight Day Of Record Setting Heat
Silverstein is representing Johnson as she fights the citation.
“Ms. Johnson is being prosecuted not for the conduct of writing chalk on the sidewalk, but she is being prosecuted for the particular message,” Silverstein said.
Silverstein said he was not arguing if Johnson’s actions on private property were legal. He said he believed the prosecution can’t prove his client had intent to annoy, injure, or inconvenience anyone.
“I don’t think she had any of those intentions. I think she intended to send a message to her congress person,” Silverstein said.
Silverstein said the ACLU didn’t plan on pressing the issue any further than asking for the charges to be dropped.
A spokesperson for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said the citation was not issued based off of the message. However, when asked for further comment, CBS4 was told there was “much more to the story,” but it could not be discussed, as the case was passed along to the district attorney’s office.
Johnson says she returned to wash off the chalk, but it had already been cleaned up.MORE NEWS: Shelter In Place Ordered In Arvada For Barricaded Homicide Suspect Tomas Perez-Gonzalez
Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.