By Anica Padilla

DENVER (CBS4) — Graffiti on the state Capitol. People camping in tents downtown. Parks in “atrocious” condition. Gov. Jared Polis was asked what kind of message it sends when these things are tolerated by the government.

An image of the statue knocked down outside the Colorado State Capitol on June 25, 2020.

(credit: CBS)

“I have zero tolerance for unlawful behavior and I hope that any perpetrators of unlawful behavior, whether it’s defacing buildings or engaging in violence or crimes,” Gov. Jared Polis stated. “They should be apprehended and they should be charged.”

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Polis added that it is up to the jurisdiction that they’re in — and he said Denver police need to do more.

(credit: CBS)

“I know the Denver Police Department is working hard to try to make sure that they can hold those responsible accountable, I think they need to do even better.”

Polis said there is also a discussion about giving Colorado State Patrol troopers some jurisdiction within Denver. He said they really need that “extra ability” to prevent damage to government buildings.

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“It’s symbolic. It’s important. And frankly, when it is desecrated we all are desecrated, and democracy is desecrated,” Polis stated.

As for people camping in parks downtown, Polis said that is a city issue, as well.

“If you’re talking about Civic Plaza, much of that is city property… it’s subject to Denver law,” Polis stated. “I’m not an authority on Denver law but I believe their voters have voted to have a camping ban. It doesn’t seem to me like that’s being enforced right now. I do see people camping.”

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Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s office responded with this statement, Mayor Hancock and Governor Polis speak weekly, and the Mayor’s Office communicates with the Governor and his office almost daily about the situation outside the Governor’s Mansion, in Lincoln Park and at the State Capitol. We currently are in the process of granting the Colorado State Patrol authority to enforce municipal laws on their property. At the same time, we continue to address the health, housing and other needs of those in our city experiencing homelessness.

Anica Padilla