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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: Colorado company denied health care coverage to transgender man

February 11, 2019

ACLU: Colorado company denied health care coverage to transgender man

DENVER – The American Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado filed a discrimination charge against InnoSource Inc. today on behalf of Dashir Moore, a 32-year-old transgender man who was denied health care coverage for treatment of gender dysphoria and subsequent transition-related care. Insurance carve-outs for transition-related care are illegal, yet two days after his surgery Mr. Moore was informed that his insurance company had denied the claim and he began receiving bills from the hospital, which eventually totaled nearly $30,000.

Mr. Moore alleges that InnoSource Inc. illegally discriminated against him by providing a health care plan to its employees that categorically excluded coverage for anything related to gender transition including “treatment, drugs, medicines, services, and supplies for, or leading to, gender transition surgery.” The exclusion applied to all transition-related care, including care that is medically necessary and otherwise would be covered under the plan.

“InnoSource’s denial of coverage for medically necessary care for the treatment of gender dysphoria illegally discriminates against transgender people,” said Sara Neel, Staff Attorney with ACLU of Colorado. “The idea that Mr. Moore paid for health insurance and is still being denied coverage for medically necessary treatment is outrageous.”

Prior to his surgery, Mr. Moore completed the necessary pre-op consultation at Denver Health as well as the insurance verification process. He contacted his claims administrator to confirm the surgery would be covered and was assured that it would be. Despite the company’s assurances, two days after his surgery, Mr. Moore was informed by his care coordinator that his insurance company had refused to pay. He is now obligated to pay nearly $30,000 in hospital bills out of his own pocket.

“The fact that InnoSource refused to cover any medical treatment for transition-related care made it clear to me that the company that I was working for believed that as a transgender person I was not worthy of equal treatment,” Mr. Moore said. “I no longer felt valued or that the company really cared about me or my success.”

The ACLU filed the Charge of Discrimination with the Colorado Civil Rights Division. Mr. Moore is represented by Sara Neel of the ACLU of Colorado and Ria Tabacco Mar of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Resources:

Fact-Checking Common Myths on Transition-Related Care for Trans People, By Ria Tabacco Mar, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & HIV Project

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The ACLU of Colorado is the state’s oldest civil rights organization, protecting and defending the civil rights of all Coloradans through litigation, education and advocacy.

 

 

 



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