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  • On November 21, 2016, 13 Aurora police officers responded to a simple noise complaint at Alberto Torres’s home. As happens all too often, Aurora police officers escalated this minor issue into a brutal affair. They beat Mr. Torres solely because he delayed exiting his garage to ask his wife to interpret for him. With that beating, the lives of Mr. Torres and every member of his family were changed and he has yet to recover. ACLU of Colorado fought to obtain justice for Mr. Torres, and Aurora has now paid him $285,000. But money is not justice, and the brutality of the Aurora Police Department against people of color has continued unabated.

    It doesn’t have to be this way.

    Imagine, if instead of 13 officers being dispatched to Mr. Torres’s home for a noise complaint, the City of Aurora sent a civilian-led response team to check on his welfare and ask that he and his friends lower their sound, resulting in a non-violent solution to a minor issue?

    ACLU Settles Case With Aurora After Police Brutalize and Unlawfully Arrest Alberto Torres

  • Hope is a discipline. It’s a commitment that together, we can create a more perfect union. We won’t rest until we fulfill the promise of equal rights for ALL people in the United States.

    Join us in our fight to fulfill this promise and move forward with hope by donating to the ACLU of Colorado. Your donation supports the ACLU’s strengths that make our work effective and collaborative.

    Donate now at https://action.aclu.org/give/support-aclu-colorado

  • Anthony Martinez is 84-years-old and suffering from renal failure, as well as other serious medical conditions including dementia. He is currently incarcerated in the Sterling Correctional Facility, site of one of Colorado’s largest COVID-19 outbreaks with almost 600 active COVID-19 cases. He and his family are understandably terrified that he will catch the virus and die.

    In the midst of this public health crisis, incarcerated people as vulnerable as Anthony, could and should be immediately released to safely live out their remaining years with family.

    Read more about Anthony Martinez and other at-risk incarcerated people. 

  • Ronald Johnson is pre-diabetic, suffers from asthma and high blood pressure, and regularly uses an inhaler to breathe. His age and respiratory ailments put him at risk of serious illness and death if he contracts COVID-19. With over hundreds of active cases in Colorado’s prisons, his family fears he will not make it out alive. His daughter, Amber, says, “In prison, he can’t protect himself and he can’t social distance. My deep fear is that my dad will die in prison. That is an awful, traumatic reality to consider. My chest is tight just thinking about how quickly it spreads and how vulnerable he is.”

    Governor Hickenlooper shortened his sentence following testimony from family, friends and correctional officers advocating for his early release. Yet, he is still eight years away from parole. While he remains in prison, COVID-19 continues to spread. Ronald’s three siblings, four children and four grandchildren are desperate for his release.

    Read more about Ronald Johnson and other at-risk incarcerated people.

18. “Thirty People Have to Go”

Colorado’s largest newspaper, The Denver Post, recently announced it would cut a third of its newsroom staff. John sits down with Noelle Phillips a Denver Post reporter and Vice Chair of the Denver Newspaper Guild to talk about the recent layoffs, the role of journalism in holding our public officials accountable, Sinclair-owned TV stations, and “fake news.” Also, an update from Stephen on the Live and Let Live Bill.

Call to Action:
If your Colorado driver’s license has been canceled because of court debt in a traffic case you couldn’t afford, contact Becca Curry at bcurry@aclu-co.org or 720-402-3115.  

Call to Action:
Contact the Joint Budget Committee and urge them to focus on the education and well-being of students and not an increased police presence.

Sen. Dominick Moreno: dominick.moreno.senate@state.co.us 303.866.4857
Sen. Kevin Lundberg: kevin@kevinlundberg.com 303.866.4853
Sen. Ken Lambert: senatorlambert@comcast.net 303.866.4835
Rep. Millie Hamner: rephamner@gmail.com 303.866.2952
Rep. Bob Rankin: bob.rankin.house@state.co.us 303.866.2949
Rep. Dave Young: dave.young.house@state.co.us 303.866.2929

Contact the corporate owners of The Denver Post:
Alton Global Capital: 212-418-6865
Digital First Media CEO Guy Gilmore: 651-717-7377

The Purple State Report is brought to you by the ACLU of Colorado. Our show was produced by Vanessa Michel, John Krieger and Alejandra Garza with original theme music by Pablo Novelas. Additional music by Unknown Mortal Orchestra. If you have feedback or suggestions for future episodes email us at purplestate@aclu-co.org.



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