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?
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.
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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.
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.
Category Archives: End Immigration Detainers
ACLU’s Lawsuit Against Teller County Sheriff’s ICE Operations Moves to Appeals
May 26, 2020 DENVER – ACLU of Colorado has appealed a ruling of the Teller County District Court dismissing a taxpayer lawsuit seeking to stop Teller County Sheriff Jason Mikesell from enforcing federal civil immigration law. The lawsuit, filed last summer on behalf of six Teller County residents and taxpayers, asserts that Sheriff Mikesell exceeds his authority and violates Colorado law by participating in what is known as a 287(g) agreement with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.... | Read More
ACLU Report Highlights Death, Abuse and Neglect at Aurora ICE Detention Facility
DENVER – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers operate without meaningful accountability or oversight. One facility in particular — the Aurora Contract Detention Facility (ACDF), operated by the for-profit prison company, The GEO Group, Inc. — violates the basic human rights of its mainly asylum-seeking detainees through medical neglect and abuse, which has led to at least two deaths, according to a report released today by the ACLU of Colorado. Cashing in.... | Read More
ACLU of Colorado Sues ICE for Information about Death of Iranian Man at Detention Facility
DENVER – The ACLU of Colorado filed a lawsuit this morning seeking previously requested records related to the arrest, detention, and subsequent death of Kamyar Samimi, an Iranian man who died on December 2, 2017 while in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody at the Aurora Contract Detention Facility, a for-profit detention center operated by GEO Group, Inc. Mr. Samimi came to the United States as a student in 1976 and became a Legal Permanent Resident in 1978. ICE agents.... | Read More
All Colorado Jails Now Reject Federal Immigration Detainers
September 18, 2014 DENVER – All of Colorado’s county jails have now confirmed to the ACLU of Colorado that they no longer honor detainer requests from federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE routinely issues detainer requests, or “ICE holds,” to local jails. They ask sheriffs to continue holding a person in jail for up to five days past the time when the person would otherwise be released, so that ICE can decide whether to take that person into federal custody for a.... | Read More
Majority of Colorado Sheriffs Now Reject Federal Immigration Detainers
July 2, 2014 DENVER –More than half of Colorado’s 64 sheriffs have confirmed to the ACLU of Colorado that they no longer detain people past their release at the request of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The ACLU has advocated to sheriffs since April that they act without legal authority, and face legal liability, if they rely on detainer requests from ICE as a basis to hold prisoners who would otherwise be released. Last week, following a $30k settlement between Arapahoe.... | Read More
Colorado Sheriff to Pay $30K to Woman Held on Immigration Detainer
6/19/14 DENVER – Arapahoe County has agreed to pay $30,000 to Claudia Valdez, a domestic violence victim who called police for help, was arrested herself, and then held in the Arapahoe County Jail at the request of federal immigration authorities for three days after a judge had ordered her release. Valdez called police in July 2012, when a domestic dispute with her husband turned physical. When law enforcement arrived on the scene, they arrested Valdez and took her to jail. After her.... | Read More
Profile of Claudia Valdez
The evening of June 28, 2012, Claudia Valdez-Sandoval called the police for help. She had been fighting with her husband. The fight had turned physical, and she feared for the safety of herself and her three young children. So, she ran to her neighbor’s house with her kids in tow and asked her neighbor to call the police for help. Arapahoe County law enforcement arrived and ended up arresting Claudia on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge, which was dismissed soon afterwards. Claudia had.... | Read More
Denver Joins Growing List of Counties No Longer Honoring Federal Immigration Detainers
DENVER - 4/30 - Earlier today, Denver County Sheriff Gary Wilson announced that Denver will join the growing number of Colorado counties that have decided over the last two days to stop honoring immigration detainers from federal authorities that request that a person be held in jail for up to six days after they would otherwise be released. Yesterday, the ACLU of Colorado sent letters to every sheriff in the state calling into question the legal authority under Colorado state law to detain people.... | Read More
ADVISORY: Community Leaders and Advocates to Respond to Several Colorado Sheriffs’ Decisions to No Longer Honor Federal Immigration Detainers
ACLU will announce additional counties that will reject ICE requests to detain residents without criminal warrants or legal justification April 30, 2014 DENVER – Several counties around the state have announced over the last 48 hours that they will stop honoring immigration detainers from federal authorities that request that a person be held in jail for 48 hours or longer after they would otherwise be released. Yesterday, the ACLU of Colorado sent letters to every sheriff in the state.... | Read More
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