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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 National Racial Justice Director to Keynote Bill of Rights Dinner

July 24, 2014

dennis-parker-authorDENVER – The ACLU of Colorado is excited to announce that Dennis Parker, Director of the ACLU National Racial Justice Program (RJP), will be the featured speaker at the Annual Carle Whitehead Bill of Rights Dinner on Friday, October 17th at The Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Denver.

With its focus on racial profiling, affirmative action, indigent representation, felon enfranchisement issues, and the school-to-prison pipeline which funnels children of color from the educational system into the criminal justice system, the RJP seeks to remove barriers to equal opportunity for communities of color through litigation, public education, community organizing and legislation.

Prior to joining the ACLU, Mr. Parker was the Chief of the Civil Rights Bureau of the Office of the New York State Attorney. He also worked for fourteen years at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund litigating scores of cases involving elementary and secondary education, affirmative action in higher education and equal educational opportunity. Other positions included work at the employment firm of Vladeck, Waldman, Elias and Engelhardt and the New York Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division in Brooklyn, New York.

Mr. Parker lectures extensively on civil rights issues and is an adjunct professor at New York Law School. He is a graduate of Middlebury College and Harvard Law School.

At the Carle Whitehead Bill of Rights Dinner, the ACLU of Colorado will honor the late Dr. Vincent Harding, a nationally-recognized civil rights leader whose work as a writer, a teacher, and a champion of civil liberties inspired generations of students and advocates.

Laura Rovner will also be honored at the event for her outstanding legal work as the Director of the University of Denver’s Civil Rights Law Clinic, and Bob Connelly will be recognized for his many years of service and dedication as a board member of the ACLU of Colorado.

For more information about the event, purchasing tickets, or becoming a sponsor, please contact Rachel Pryor-Lease at 720-402-3105 or rpyor-lease@aclu-co.org.



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