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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 Opposes the Use of Private Contractors to Perform Police Actions on the 16th Street Mall

8/19/16

Statement of ACLU of Colorado Executive Director Nathan Woodliff-Stanley:

The ACLU of Colorado opposes the use of private contractors to perform police actions on the 16th Street Mall. While the Downtown Denver Partnership and city officials are concerned with “perceptions of safety” on the Mall, this approach carries the potential for real civil liberties violations, racial and economic profiling, and the undermining of reforms by the Denver Police Department intended to improve community trust in law enforcement.

The 16th Street Mall is a public place. The Downtown Denver Partnership has no more right to dictate who uses the Mall than do the people they clearly want to evict from it. Combined with recent revelations that the City made payment for anti-homeless sweeps to a private contractor out of the homeless services donation fund, it is clear that this administration is having difficulty distinguishing public versus private functions and protecting the rights of all members of the community equally.

The ACLU of Colorado takes no issue with police patrolling the Mall and responding to actual crime. We do take issue with police harassing people who are doing nothing more than sitting, leaning, performing, or peacefully asking for charity. And we take serious issue with unaccountable private contractors paid for by business interests patrolling a public space.



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