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Burned Amendment A pamphlets Jumoke Emery, who is a campaign leader for the ballot question, found on the porch of his Denver home on Monday, Nov. 5, 2018. Denver police said they are investigating. (Photo courtesy of Jumoke Emery)

One of the leaders in the campaign for Amendment A, which seeks to strike slavery language from the Colorado constitution, found a smoldering pile of pamphlets supporting the ballot question on the front porch of his Denver home Monday.

“I was at work, and about 3:30 p.m. my wife called me incredibly upset, terrified,” said Jumoke Emery. “She had come home to this pile of smoldering ashes on our front porch. It was very clear that it was Amendment A literature.”

Emery, who is black and lives in east Denver, says his wife didn’t see anyone suspicious before finding the scorched pamphlets.

“This isn’t 1950’s in the Deep South,” he said. “It’s 2018, in the middle of Denver. I’ve had a cross burning in my front yard, as far as I’m concerned.”

ProgressNow Colorado, a liberal political activism group, called the incident “an apparent white supremacist arson attack.” However, authorities have not released a suspected motive or commented in detail on the incident.

Emery works for the group as director of campaigns.

Amendment A is a repeat of a failed ballot question from 2016 that aims to remove language in the state’s constitution that says slavery is prohibited in Colorado, “except as a punishment for crime.” If the amendment passes, the constitution would then essentially read: slavery is prohibited without exception.

However, the 2016 effort raised concerns that it could inadvertently make prison work programs unconstitutional.

MORE: Amendment A: Everything you need to know about the 2018 Colorado ballot question

Emery said he has faced opposition to Amendment A on social media before, but nothing to the extent of what he discovered at his home on Monday.

“This, to bring it to my home, to bring it where my family sleeps, is beyond anything I could have ever imagined,” he said.

Emery said Amendment A backers “must be doing something right” if they are making people filled with hate target them. It’s not clear where the fliers came from, he said.

Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson said officers had been called out to the home. He didn’t have further information on the case.

“We’re looking into the matter,” Jackson said.


Jesse Paul

The Colorado Sun — Desk: 720-432-2229 Jesse Paul is a political reporter and editor at The Colorado Sun, covering the state legislature, Congress and local politics. He is...