Darsean Kelly Knew His Rights. He Got Tased Anyway.
Police in Aurora, Colorado, got a call about a man pulling a gun on a kid. They had no description of the suspect. On their way to the scene, they stopped two Black men walking down the sidewalk. Darsean Kelley, one of the men, followed the officers’ orders to hold his hands above his head and turn around. His repeated requests for an explanation as to why they had been detained went unanswered. Even though it was clear he had no weapons and he was no threat to the officers, Darsean was tased.... | Read More
Protect Freedom on the 16th Street Mall
This column was originally published on 7/29/16 in the Denver Business Journal. In any discussion of improving perceptions of the 16th Street Mall, it is essential to remember that the Mall is a public space, and therefore must be open to all segments of the public. Any attempt to drive away some people because of how they look or how much money they have is an unacceptable abuse of individual freedom and civil liberties. It is also important to remember that for the most part, the 16th Street.... | Read More
Which Way Did Colorado Legislators Vote on Civil Liberties in 2016?
As we do after every legislative session, we prepared a legislative scorecard so you, our members and supporters, can see where each legislator stands on civil liberties issues. View the 2016 ACLU of Colorado Legislative Scorecard. This year, we picked six bills to score on the scorecard. The ACLU was of course involved in many other legislative initiatives, but these six represent a cross section of civil liberties issues we work on – mass incarceration, economic justice, solitary confinement.... | Read More
Boulder’s Reputation Tainted by Aggressive Enforcement of Anti-Homeless Camping Ban
This commentary from ACLU of Colorado speaker and volunteer Darren O'Connor first appeared in the Boulder Weekly on June 9, 2016. The beauty of Boulder, nestled in the Foothills and dominated by the Flatirons, is a metro area gem that attracts a great number of visitors and would be residents wishing to enjoy its charms. Its reputation as an idyllic, liberal city, however, was recently tainted by University of Denver Law School’s report, Too High A Price: What Criminalizing Homelessness Costs.... | Read More
2016: A Good Year (and Far Better than Expected) for Civil Liberties in the Colorado Legislature
The 120-day Colorado legislative session ended last Wednesday night, May 11. Much has been made about the failure of bipartisanship and many have referred to this year’s session as “anti-climatic” and a “house divided.” For the issues that received much media attention, I suppose these references ring true. The legislature failed to re-classify Colorado’s hospital provider fee as an enterprise fund, failed to pass a Presidential primary bill even though there were two bills, each with.... | Read More
Fact Sheet: HB 1309 – A Bill to Safeguard the Right to Counsel in Municipal Court
JAILED DEFENDANTS TOO POOR TO BOND OUT REQUIRE COUNSEL AT FIRST APPEARANCE The U.S. Supreme Court has held the first appearance in court is a “critical stage” where the defendant’s right to counsel attaches. A defendant’s first appearance involves much more than an advisement of rights, and often results in a guilty plea. At this stage, counsel can advocate for reduced bond, ensure the defendant is not inappropriately pressured to plead guilty, advise defendants on the collateral consequences.... | Read More
James Fisher spoke at the ACLU of Colorado Bill of Rights Dinner about how he and the ACLU are working together to stop the criminalization of poverty for the thousands of Coloradans who are trapped in debtors’ prisons.
Our membership has quadrupled in the last six months, making it possible to do more than ever to protect civil rights and civil liberties in Colorado. Thank you to all our new members, supporters, and donors, and the ones who’ve been with us for years.
Leisel Kemp, whose brother Jason was killed by CSP after they entered his home without a warrant, spoke at the 2013 Bill of Rights Dinner about the ACLU’s legal advocacy on behalf of her family.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind is an original short film from the ACLU of Colorado about a man who has spent 17 years in solitary confinement and now suffers from debilitating mental illness.