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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 of Colorado Commends Chief White and Denver Police for Keeping the Peace Following Vandalism at Protest

February 17, 2015

Statement of the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado

“The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado applauds Denver Police Chief Robert White and the officers in command during last Saturday’s protest for keeping the peace and not intervening in a way that might have caused the situation to escalate or become violent after two individuals illegally vandalized a police memorial.

“The ACLU of Colorado does not condone vandalism.  We advocate for peaceful forms of demonstration that do not break the law.  By all accounts, the vast majority of the protesters present at the demonstration exercised their free speech rights peacefully.  When two individuals did break the law, rather than jeopardize the safety of the officers on duty and the crowd of law-abiding protesters, police did not intervene and waited until after the demonstration to make an arrest.

“In April 2012, the ACLU of Colorado wrote to Chief White to request a review of department policies and procedures relating to use of force and crowd management after an attempt by police to take down a tent during an Occupy Denver demonstration provoked an unnecessary violent confrontation, resulting in the use of pepper ball guns and batons against law-abiding demonstrators.

“In this instance, we commend Chief White and the commanding officers for exercising restraint and not escalating the situation.  A public show of aggression by police at that moment would not only have risked the safety of all who were present, it would have further denigrated the already damaged trust between the public and law enforcement.”

Resources:

April 2012 Letter from ACLU of Colorado to Chief White: http://static.aclu-co.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/OIM.Rich_.4.12.2012.complaint.Website.pdf

Know Your Rights for Protests and Demonstrations: http://static.aclu-co.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Protests.pdf



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