In 2018, Raverro Stinnett was an artist to watch. He was studying art on a full scholarship at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design and had begun to make a name for himself in Denver’s art scene through his fine art and photography. That year, he was set to become an artist in residence at the RedLine Gallery.
Then, on April 28, 2018, Stinnett left a gala at RedLine. He walked to Union Station to catch a train home and sat down on a bench to wait. He’d been there just 30 minutes when he was harassed because he was Black by security guards from Allied Universal Security, a group that partners with RTD. One of the guards led Stinnett away from cameras into a station bathroom and beat him so brutally that he suffered a severe brain injury.
Stinnett survived, but he lost something essential: The assault left him with permanent brain damage that impaired his ability to create art. In a recent interview with CPR, Stinnett said that every time he tries to paint or sketch, he bursts into tears.
Two years after the incident, three of the four officers involved have been sentenced to prison. But RTD still maintains its partnership with Allied Universal Security, and Stinnett has not been paid damages, despite steep medical expenses and the loss of his main source of income.