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  • 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 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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