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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.

ACLU Applauds Governor Hickenlooper for Signing Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform

DENVER – This afternoon, Governor John Hickenlooper signed HB 17-1313, a bill passed by more than three-fourths of the Colorado legislature to rein in civil asset forfeiture and ensure that property seizures in Colorado abide by due process protections in Colorado law. The ACLU of Colorado sent a letter on Tuesday urging the Governor to sign the bill and “not stand in the way of bipartisan reform.”

ACLU of Colorado Public Policy Director Denise Maes issued the following statement:

“The ACLU of Colorado applauds Governor Hickenlooper for listening to the thousands of constituents who weighed in over the last few weeks and signing HB 17-1313, Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform, into law.  We also welcome the Governor’s decision to create a task force to identify further reforms and improvements to civil asset forfeiture in Colorado.

“ACLU members and activists sent thousands of emails and made hundreds of calls to the Governor’s office in support of HB 17-1313. Clearly, this issue resonated deeply with many Coloradans who want more transparency and stronger due process protections when police take property.

“We also thank lead sponsors Representatives Leslie Herod and Stephen Humphrey and Senators Tim Neville and Daniel Kagan for their leadership and commitment to advancing this legislation through bipartisan cooperation.  Coloradans benefit when their legislators prioritize good policy over partisan politics, and HB 17-1313 is a great example of the progress that can be made when differing viewpoints come together in support of civil liberties.”

Resources: 

ACLU Urges Governor Hickenlooper to Sign Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform

ACLU Letter to Governor Hickenlooper:

http://static.aclu-co.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/ACLULetterCivilAsset6517.pdf



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