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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 Statement on the Revised “Sit-Lie” Ordinance in Colorado Springs

1/11/15

DENVER – At a work session this afternoon, the Colorado Springs City Council will re-visit a controversial proposal to make it a crime, punishable by up to a $500 fine on first offense and up to 90 days in jail on second offense, to sit on curbs and sidewalks downtown. The proposal has been re-titled the “Pedestrian Access Act.”

The ACLU of Colorado issued the following statement:

“The ACLU of Colorado opposes any new laws that make it a crime to use public spaces, especially those that disproportionately target people who are homeless or living in poverty.

“While the Council has responded to resounding public rejection of the ‘sit-lie’ concept by attempting to rebrand the proposal and to soften some of its more absurd elements, there is still no public safety justification for making it a crime to sit.

“The Council, the police, and the courts should focus their time and resources on actual crimes with actual victims, not rounding up and harassing people who are doing nothing more than sitting.”

SEE ALSO:

ACLU Wins Dismissal of Hundreds of Panhandling Charges in Colorado Springs: https://aclu-co.org/aclu-wins-dismissal-of-hundreds-of-panhandling-charges-in-colorado-springs/

Colorado Springs Sentences Hundreds of Impoverished People to Debtors’ Prison in Violation of U.S Constitution and State Law: https://aclu-co.org/colorado-springs-sentences-hundreds-of-impoverished-people-to-debtors-prison-in-violation-of-u-s-constitution-and-state-law/

ACLU of Colorado Statement on the Proposed “Sit-Lie” Ordinance in Colorado Springs (8/24/15): https://aclu-co.org/aclu-of-colorado-statement-on-the-proposed-sit-lie-ordinance-in-colorado-springs/



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