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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 Responds to Minneapolis Police Killing George Floyd

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — The American Civil Liberties Union and ACLU of Minnesota are jointly calling for a fair, independent, and transparent investigation following the death of George Floyd, a Black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police Monday evening.

We need you with us to build national pressure and ensure public outrage leads to action. Please join us in calling on Minnesota leadership to hand the case over to an independent prosecutor under the Attorney General’s authority.

CALL FOR JUSTICE NOW

In a 10-minute-long eyewitness video that eerily recalls the Eric Garner case in New York City, a Minneapolis police officer can be seen kneeling directly on Floyd’s neck, crushing it into the pavement. The handcuffed Floyd cries and moans at least nine times, “I can’t breathe,” and begs the officer: “Don’t kill me.”

Increasingly frantic bystanders are heard telling police to let Floyd breathe and warning them that he wasn’t moving. Yet the officer kept his body weight on Floyd’s neck for four more minutes after Floyd stopped moving. At one point, the officer brandishes pepper spray at bystanders who are pleading with police to stop. Other officers appear to do nothing to intervene or help Floyd.

Paige Fernandez, policing policy advisor for the ACLU, issued the following statement:

“Nearly six years after Eric Garner’s death in New York — and four years after Philando Castile’s in Minnesota — this tragic video shows how little meaningful change has emerged to prevent police from taking the lives of Black people. Even in places like Minneapolis, where chokeholds are technically banned, Black people are targeted by the police for low-level offenses and are subjected to unreasonable, unnecessary violence. Make no mistake: George Floyd should be alive today. The officers responsible must be held accountable. The public has seen the video. To call this a ‘medical incident’ is an insult.”

John Gordon, executive director of the ACLU of Minnesota issued the following statement:

“You can’t watch this appalling video posted by brave eyewitnesses on social media without seeing police officers’ callous disregard for a Black man’s life, and you can’t help but conclude that yet another tragic death was both needless and preventable. Law enforcement officers too often resort to excessive force in interactions with Black and Brown people, despite their duty to protect and serve everyone.

“These interactions are not new. The systemic targeting of and use of unnecessary force against people of color is woven into the fabric of our law enforcement institutions and stems from the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow in this country. The horrifying video of the killing underscores the immediate need for a thorough, fair, and transparent investigation into George Floyd’s death. The community needs a comprehensive review and the reform of police practices and policies. The officers involved – not just the perpetrator, but also those who stood by and did nothing – must be held accountable.”

CALL FOR JUSTICE NOW



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