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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 settles racial profiling, illegal search suit; New police policies, training results

To resolve an ACLU of Colorado lawsuit filed earlier this year alleging racial profiling, biased policing, and illegal search of a residence, Denver agreed to a settlement that provides for new police policies, new training for officers, and payment of $20,000 to the ACLU’s clients.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in March on behalf of Jose Sanchez and his girlfriend, Joshinna Carreras, charged that Denver police officers targeted Sanchez, detained him without reasonable suspicion, and falsely accused him of being an “illegal immigrant.” The officers then illegally arrested Sanchez for supposedly providing “false identification,” and they illegally entered and searched Carreras’ home without a warrant. The supposedly “false” identification was a current and valid photo ID — an Employment Authorization Card — issued by the Department of Homeland Security, which confirmed Mr. Sanchez’s legal presence and authorization to work in the United States.

Under the new policies, instead of simply booking an individual on a charge of false identification and turning the case over to prosecutors, Denver police will contact federal authorities to inquire whether the ID is genuine. If it is, the individual will be released immediately.

For more information, visit https://aclu-co.org/case/sanchez-v-city-and-county-of-denver.



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