Sep. 26—Longmont police on Saturday said they have spoken with the person involved in distributing flyers that were "disparaging toward our Black community." Police wrote in a Facebook post that "while we do not support this message, no charges can be filed at this time."
Police collected 11 flyers that were left on downtown Longmont businesses Thursday night, but said there were likely more flyers that were taken down by store owners. Police had asked for the public's help in obtaining information on who was responsible.
Longmont police spokesperson Robin Ericson said police declined to share the contents of the flyers, because they don't want to perpetuate the message.
Julie Benoit, co-owner of Maker General, was among the business owners who found one of the flyers. Benoit said she arrived at the hand-picked goods and craft supplier store on Main Street for work Friday morning. She said one of the flyers had been "shimmied" into the crack of the front door.
"Coming into my store and seeing the sentences I saw made me feel really uncomfortable," Benoit said in a phone interview. "The co-owner of my store is a Black woman. I didn't feel positive or good about any of it."
She described the contents of the flyer as "appalling" and "icky."
Benoit said she immediately reported the flyer to the Longmont Downtown Development Authority and police. She also posted about the situation on Instagram.
"I am shaking. I am livid. Hateful acts like this are designed to make it hard for retail owners/workers to continue to bring their best for the public, but we won't stoop to the cowardly behavior of this messenger," the post read.
In a statement that was released to 9NEWS on Saturday, the Boulder County District Attorney's Office further explained the decision not to charge the individual.
"The First Amendment protects many forms of speech, regardless of how intolerant or disgusting it may be," the statement read. "The individual who posted the flyer did not trespass or damage property. The fliers themselves are revolting but the conduct is protected by freedom of speech. The person who posted them violated human decency but not criminal laws."
Following the incident, Benoit said she saw community members coming together to support those who had been impacted, including a customer bringing the business flowers.
Benoit encouraged people to continue to support one another and take part in local discussion, including a Black Lives Matter conversation which is slated to take place at 7:15 p.m. Thursday at the Longmont Museum.