11,300 have signed. Let’s get to 15,000!
Petition to
Governor Jared Polis and

Why this petition matters

Started by CW Mallery

We are a family of United States Marine Corps Veterans. In spite of fighting for our country, my family and I have faced threats of lynching and hanging and now live in constant fear for our lives in rural Colorado Springs. I don’t know if it is 2023 or the late 1800s, but fires, pitchforks, and ropes are familiar sights for my family. And just like in the late 1800s, the only reason is that I am a Black farmer who dares to live the American dream of working my land, providing farm fresh foods to my community, and leaving something valuable and everlasting to my family. 

The individual leading this reign of terror and trauma is our own Deputy Emory Ray Gerhart, with the rest of our local police force participating in the abuse and following his lead. It’s incredibly sad, disheartening, and hurtful that those who have sworn to “serve and protect” are the reason my family and I have had our land and our lives threatened. 

We have been targeted! Our land has been targeted! We’ve been told we can’t use most of the land under the threat of penalty and arrest.  Coming from a farming heritage, I take pride in my land, my work, my integrity, and our land, our 1,000 acre ranch, is how we provide for our family and future families. As the only Black farmer in the area, it’s become evident that our skin color and race are the only driving factors of this extreme racism, discrimination and harassment. No other farmers have been approached or have had any of our experiences. 

This is not new! There is a long history of discrimination and harassment targeting Black farmers and Black owned farmland in America. US agriculture was built off the back of Black labor. First, through slavery and forced labor, but even post-emancipation, the horrible institution of sharecropping took hold that which left the majority of Black farmers, Black Americans, still slaves to their lands with increasing unfair debt used as the tools of oppression. 

Over the course of a century, over 90% of Black-held land was stripped either through debt or questionable government seizure. The Black farmer population has gone from 14% in 1910 to less than 1.2% today. Every effort made to form unions or cooperatives has been destroyed. The Black community has been systematically excluded from programs, denied loans, and undermined and ignored when claims of discrimination and racism have been presented. 

These depressing statistics don’t include the countless stories of Black farmers who are targeted by the local police and local communities for intimidation - intimidation, and terrorism to force the families either out of the land or off the land entirely. Unfortunately, I seem to be yet another Black farmer facing this tradition of abuse, racism, trauma, harassment, and terrorism. 

“N***ers don’t belong in this country.” "Let's have a public hanging" "It will be fun community night out to start a lynch mob with fire and pitchforks"  "Let's all go ride over to their house and pretend our car broke down so they can't get out" "We will make their life a living hell" 

These are just some of the hate fueled statements and Facebook posts supported by some of the local police officers. They have also supported the posting of our address online, which led to strangers coming to our property to harass and threaten us. We’ve even had our dog poisoned, animals murdered,  ranchhand murdered and left for us to see Identity release of body found - KRDO. There have been guns directed at us multiple times, threatening our lives. Since the local police are a part of this terrorism, we haven’t been able to use the police services for protection or any other needs. 

And the person that is behind all of this racism, discrimination, terrorism, denial of police service and giving the commands and okay to continue to harass us is corrupt, racist Deputy Emory Ray Gerhart.

We ask for you to sign the petition in support of the termination and removal of Deputy Emory Ray Gerhart. Additionally, we are seeking an independent investigation from the Attorney General of Colorado. We cannot go another day with a racist and corrupt officer who openly and happily puts the only local Black farmer in his community at risk of lynching and hanging. If it can happen to us, it can happen to anyone. Help us to get him removed and charged with a hate crime, so no one else is put in harm's way.

We implore anyone reading our story to please sign the petition and/or call/email Governor Polis 3038662471 | to demand corrupt, racist Deputy Emory Ray Gerhart be terminated, investigated and charged with a hate crime. Demand help from the Governor to stop the steal of the only local Black farmer in the area. 

Hopefully, with this petition, we can end this terrorist attack on our family so we’ll be able farm our 1000 acres, pass down a legacy to the family, save lives and keep our community safe and healthy with farm fresh foods raised and grown on our ranch. 

Thank you for your support! 




11,300 have signed. Let’s get to 15,000!