Colorado Rights Blog


  • 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.

  • Tuesday Olson knew her pregnancy was in trouble and tried to access hospital care as soon as possible. But there was a problem: she was in jail. This is her story.
  • It’s time to end the death penalty in Colorado. Family members who lost loved ones to murder speak out against an unjust and broken system.

ACLU challenges Town of Parker

Acting on behalf of an organization planning a benefit to raise money for the families of active military personnel, the ACLU of Colorado today challenged the Town of Parker’s ban on the display of banners and American flags during the special event planned for June 4 at a privately owned restaurant in Parker.

Gary Adler, President and CEO of the Pro Players Association, asked for the ACLU’s assistance after Parker officials insisted that his application for a permit depended on his agreement to comply with the Town’s conditions.  He was told that flags and banners are forbidden.  According to Adler, at a public hearing held to consider his fundraiser, the City Attorney confirmed that even a display of the American flag was forbidden under the Town’s rules.

In a letter sent to the Parker Town Attorney today, the ACLU explained that the City’s effort to enforce a “no flags” and “no banners” rule violates the sponsor’s First Amendment rights.

“Forbidding the display of the American flag violates not only the Constitution,” said Mark Silverstein, ACLU Legal Director.  “It also violates common sense.  There is no legitimate justification for imposing such an absurd prohibition on the sponsor of any event.  It is particularly offensive in this case, where the sponsor expects an honor guard in military uniforms to be carrying American flags as part of the event’s patriotic message.”

The ACLU’s letter asks that the Town Attorney issue the requested permit and immediately withdraw any threat to enforce the “no flags” and “no banners” rule during the Celebrity Bartender Night planned for June 4 at Joe’s Crab Shack in Parker.

   * Letter to the City of Parker

About the ACLU of Colorado
The ACLU is a nationwide, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to defending and preserving the principles of the Bill of Rights through litigation, advocacy and public education.  The ACLU Foundation of Colorado works to protect the rights of all Coloradans.

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