On Constitution Day, A Vision for Inclusion
At the American Civil Liberties Union, we consider Constitution Day on September 17 to be an important occasion, remembering the signing of the U.S. Constitution on that day in 1787. Beginning with the words, “We the people,” the Constitution is the foundation of our nation’s system of government. The Constitution establishes essential principles of checks and balances, separation of powers, peaceful transitions of power, due process, equal protection, and everything promised in the Bill.... | Read More
Nightmares and Tragedies in Immigration Detention
KAMYAR SAMIMI died in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on December 2, 2017, 15 days after ICE agents arrested him. Mr. Samimi held a green card and had lived in the U.S. for more than four decades. Within days of his death, ACLU of Colorado sent ICE a request under the Freedom of Information Act for records related to his arrest, detention, and subsequent death. It took 17 months and a federal lawsuit for ICE to produce its report about Mr. Samimi’s death. The report confirmed.... | Read More
El Paso County Deputies Started a Fight Club to Reward Use of Force Against Prisoners
BY: Nathan Woodliff-Stanley, Executive Director, and Denise Maes, Public Policy Director Use of violent force is never something to celebrate. Any time law enforcement officers legitimately use force or violence against people in the communities that they serve, it is at best an unfortunate part of the job that should be kept to the minimum amount necessary to control a situation. Yet in the El Paso County Jail in Colorado, Sheriff’s Deputy Sandra Rincon was celebrated with a tiara,.... | Read More
10 Questions for Brett Kavanaugh
By David Cole, ACLU Legal Director With his selection of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat on the United States Supreme Court, President Donald Trump has the opportunity to alter the makeup of the Court for generations — and to place it far to the right of the American public. Justice Kennedy, himself a conservative appointed by President Ronald Reagan, proved to have an open mind in his more than 30 years on the bench and, as a result, kept the court within the.... | Read More
The Latest Scheme to Force Colorado Taxpayers to Pay for Private, Religious Schools
The ACLU of Colorado opposes and our state constitution bans the funneling of public school money to private, religious schools. We have fought private school vouchers in Colorado, most recently when the Douglas County School Board tried for years to implement the “Choice Scholarship Program,” a scheme that would have granted a select few parents a voucher to pay some of the tuition that was needed to send their kids to exclusive private schools, almost all of which were religious. The program.... | Read More
The Masterpiece Cakeshop Case: What You Need to Know
By Ria Tabacco Mar OCTOBER 24, 2017 | 1:00 PM Five years ago, Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig walked into Masterpiece Cakeshop, a Lakewood, Colorado, bakery to purchase a cake for their wedding reception. But the bakery’s owner refused to serve them solely because they’re a same-sex couple. Colorado courts found that the bakery discriminated against Dave and Charlie, violating a state law that says businesses open to the public can’t turn away customers based on sexual orientation..... | Read More
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?
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.
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.