Denver Parks Exclusion Directive
The ACLU of Colorado sent a letter on January 25, 2017 demanding that the Denver Parks Department stop enforcement of an unconstitutional and ineffective temporary directive authorizing police to summarily banish people from city parks, without a hearing, conviction, or other due process, based on mere suspicion of illegal drug activity.
Criminal Legal Reform, Criminalization of Homelessness
Wheat Ridge v. Taylor
The Wheat Ridge Municipal Court violated a Colorado law banning debtor’s prison practices by sentencing a homeless man to jail because he could not pay a fine, according to a filing made on his behalf by the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado.
Wilburn Taylor was cited for panhandling when a Wheat Ridge police officer found him with a blank....
Criminal Legal Reform, Criminalization of Homelessness, End Debtors' Prisons
Brown v. City of Colorado Springs
In a lawsuit filed on October 12, 2016 against Colorado Springs police officers and the City of Colorado Springs, the ACLU of Colorado charged that Ryan and Benjamin Brown were victims of the police department’s “custom and practice” of engaging in racially-biased policing and carrying out groundless, racially-motivated stops and searches.
Criminal Legal Reform, Racial Justice
Gonzalez v. City of Trinidad
The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado filed a lawsuit against the City of Trinidad and a pair of Trinidad detectives on behalf of two innocent women who were falsely arrested and prosecuted as part of a highly-publicized “drug sting” in December, 2013.
According to the suit, Trinidad detectives Phil Martin and Arsenio Vigil relied on....
Criminal Legal Reform
A letter was sent to Denver Sheriff Gary Wilson requesting that Denver County stop honoring Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers, which are requests by the federal government that states and municipalities hold prisoners until ICE can determine their immigration status, often past the time they would otherwise be released . The letter....
Criminal Legal Reform, End Immigration Detainers, Immigrants’ Rights
Challenge to Grand Junction Anti-Panhandling Ordinance
The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado filed suit in federal district court challenging the City of Grand Junction's anti-panhandling ordinance, which bans a wide swath of speech that is protected by the First Amendment.
Although Grand Junction officials have claimed that the ordinance aims only at “aggressive” panhandling, the ACLU contends....
Criminal Legal Reform, Criminalization of Homelessness, Freedom of Expression & Religion
The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado sent letters to three Front Range cities demanding a prompt halt to the illegal practice of jailing poor people for failing to pay court-ordered fines. The ACLU conducted an in-depth investigation into the municipal courts of Westminster, Wheat Ridge, and Northglenn, and found that each city routinely issues....
Criminal Legal Reform, End Debtors' Prisons
Cardella v. Town of Castle Rock
This lawsuit, filed under Colorado’s open records law, seeking Castle Rock police department records related to the conduct of a police officer who put innocent civilians in danger in February, 2013, when he fired multiple shots from a semi-automatic rifle at the vehicle of an unarmed fleeing burglary suspect. The Plaintiffs, Michael and Susan....
Criminal Legal Reform, Government Transparency
Denver Marijuana Ordinance
In 2012, Colorado voters approved Amendment 64, which, as a matter of Colorado law, legalized possession, display, transportation, and consumption of less than an ounce of marijuana. The constitutional amendment also states that nothing in the measure permits “openly and publicly” consuming marijuana.
In October, 2013, the Denver City Council....
Criminal Legal Reform, Privacy & Technology
Ryals v. City of Englewood
In this case, ACLU attorneys challenge an Englewood ordinance that makes it a crime for registered sex offenders to live within 2000 feet of any school, park, or playground, or 1000 feet of any licensed day care center, recreation center or swimming pool. As a practical matter, the ordinance bans previously-convicted sex offenders from living in the....
Criminal Legal Reform