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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 SUES GREELEY SHERIFF FOR WITHHOLDING FORMER INMATE’S MEDICAL RECORDS

ACLU Sues Greeley Sheriff for Withholding Former Inmate's Medical Records

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 24, 2000

The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado (ACLU) filed suit today against Weld County Sheriff Ed Jordan for refusing to permit a former inmate to see the medical records that document the medical care he received when he was housed in the Weld County Jail.

 

In correspondence with the ACLU, Sheriff Ed Jordan took the position that an inmate’s medical records constitute "criminal justice records" that he has the discretion to withhold.

 

"Sheriff Jordan is wrong," said Mark Silverstein, ACLU Legal Director. "Patients and former patients have an absolute right to review their medical records. Contrary to the Sheriff’s belief, there is no law enforcement exception and no exception for correctional facilities. Even the Department of Corrections acknowledges that inmates have the right to review their own medical records."

 

The ACLU acted on behalf of Jason Thompson, who was an inmate during parts of 1997 and 1998. According to the lawsuit, the ACLU first wrote on behalf of Thompson to request the incident reports that document a night that Thompson spent strapped into the jail’s restraint chair, a night that included several visits from the jail’s nurse. When the Sheriff denied that request, Thompson then asked for his medical records. The Sheriff denied that request, too, in a letter that stated that he had never made such records available to inmates.

 

This is the fourth time in recent years that the ACLU of Colorado has sued a law enforcement agency under the Colorado Open Records Act for failing to disclose records. In March, the ACLU sued Pueblo Sheriff Dan Coresentino for refusing to disclose his policies regarding the use of the restraint chair. A hearing in that case was conducted in Pueblo District Court on May 18, 2000, and a decision is expected soon. In two additional cases, the ACLU succeeded in obtaining a court order that forced the Denver Police Department to disclose documents connected with internal investigations into alleged police misconduct.

 

Today’s case, Thompson v. Jordan, was filed in Weld County District Court in Greeley.



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