Denver School Board member Tay Anderson addresses hundreds of protesters in front of the Capitol building on Sept. 23, 2020, in Denver following the Kentucky grand jury announcement in the Breonna Taylor case. The crowd then began marching downtown to the office of U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner.

Denver Board of Education Director Tay Anderson and his allies criticized a Douglas County commissioner over the weekend for characterizing his role in downtown protests as leading “violent riots” in an Oct. 3 Facebook post.

"My opponent begins her thoughts on video to AG Phil Weiser and Democrat candidate Lisa Neal-Graves by heaping enormous praise on socialist Denver Public School Board member Tay Anderson — yes, that Tay Anderson, who led recent violent riots in Denver — and his success in removing SROs from Denver schools,” wrote District III Commissioner Lora Thomas, referring to school resource officers and a campaign video from her Democratic opponent, Darien Wilson.

“She touts Anderson as a fine example, and it’s clear that her offering of removing SROs from Douglas County schools is quite serious," Thomas continued.

Anderson countered on Twitter that “I don’t lead riots — I lead protests that are protected under the first amendment,” and added that Thomas’ post, which also labeled him a “radical Leftist,” “put my safety as a Black man at risk, especially in the wake of the President telling white supremacists to ‘stand by.’ ”

Wilson responded to Anderson’s tweet by saying Thomas was “trying to fearmonger.”

Denver city Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca defended Anderson by writing, “Those of us who show up know better. @TayAndersonCO doesn't have a violent bone in his body.”

Deeming the Facebook post as "racist at best," Regional Transportation District Director Shontel M. Lewis echoed Anderson that such rhetoric can "literally put Black Women and Black Men at risk."

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