Swastika found on Briargate Trail in area with previous neo-Nazi activity


Found on Briargate Trail on Mon., Aug. 20. - COURTESY BRAD SHERMAN
  • Courtesy Brad Sherman
  • Found on Briargate Trail on Mon., Aug. 20.

Sergeant Craig Simpson of the Colorado Springs Police Department returned the Indy's questions about the swastika found on Briargate Trail, as well as the white supremacist stickers previously posted in the area.

While Simpson says he could not find record of the police report allegedly filed by Brad Sherman on Aug. 21 (the day after Sherman discovered the swastika), Simpson says he is aware of the Identity Evropa stickers, and that CSPD is currently working to identify the individuals responsible.

In general, Simpson says Colorado Springs has low  white supremacist/neo-Nazi activity, but these incidents represent an "uptick."

"This is something we don’t typically see," he says, adding that it's important to CSPD to get a handle on these incidents so the community feels safe.

"We are trying to work to make sure this kind of stuff doesn’t happen, that the message gets sent that this is not tolerated in our community," he says.

——-ORIGINAL POST: AUG. 22, 2:28 P.M.——-

On the evening of Mon., Aug. 20, while walking his dogs along Briargate Trail, Brad Sherman made a disturbing discovery.

“I have no idea how long it’s been there,” Sherman says of the large black swastika, spray-painted in the middle of the sidewalk.

This isn’t the first white supremacist/neo-Nazi activity in the area. In July, Colorado Springs Antifascists posted on their Facebook page that “Identity Evropa” stickers had been posted to light poles around the 80920 area code, specifically on Research Parkway between Powers Boulevard and Austin Bluffs Parkway. Identity Evropa is a confirmed white supremacist organization. The Southern Poverty Law Center says that the group, formed in 2016 by Iraq war veteran Nathan Damigo, typically targets young people on college campuses with their “self-aware and eminently meme-able aesthetics.”

White supremacist propaganda has also shown up in the Denver Metro area, as recently as July.

Though the Aug. 12 “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally in Washington, D.C., drew only a handful of attendees (in contrast to hundreds of protestors who showed up to counter the white supremacists’ message), it is clear from activity around the country that neo-Nazis may be scared, but they are not entirely silent.

Sherman reported the Briargate Trail graffiti to public works, which turned the matter over to the Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation Department for cleanup. Sherman says they “seemed to take it pretty seriously.”

He also filed a report with the Colorado Springs Police Department, “on the off chance that it might mean something to them. I didn’t have anything to give them in terms of a suspect or anything,” he says.

We reached out to the parks department for comment and will update this post when/if we hear from them.

This story was reported with tips from ProPublica’s Documenting Hate Project, which is collecting reports on hate crimes and bias incidents. If you've been a victim or a witness of a hate incident, share your story here.

An otherwise beautiful view marred by neo-Nazi symbolism. - COURTESY BRAD SHERMAN
  • Courtesy Brad Sherman
  • An otherwise beautiful view marred by neo-Nazi symbolism.

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