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.
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.
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: Privacy & Technology
ACLU Sues Colorado State Senator for Blocking Constituent on Social Media
DENVER – ACLU of Colorado filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court May 13 against Colorado State Senator Ray Scott for blocking constituent Anne Landman from his official Facebook and Twitter pages. Landman, a resident of Colorado Senate District 7 in Grand Junction, speaks out regularly on public policy issues and writes about Colorado politics on her blog. She also uses social media to interact with fellow constituents and elected officials. Landman had been able to interact with Scott and others.... | Read More
ACLU Seeks Info into Denver Police Use of Social Media Surveillance
Denver’s Spy Files Past Raises Serious Concerns about “Geofeedia” Acquisition DENVER – Citing concerns that the Denver Police Department may once again be monitoring the free speech activities of individuals and groups that are not suspected of criminal activity, a practice Denver publicly agreed to stop in 2003, the ACLU of Colorado filed a records request this morning seeking information related to the Department’s acquisition and use of Geofeedia and other social media surveillance.... | Read More
ACLU of Colorado to Honor Senator Mark Udall and Nita Gonzales as 2015 Civil Rights Award Recipients
DENVER – The ACLU of Colorado is pleased to announce that Senator Mark Udall and civil rights activist Nita Gonzales have been selected to receive our 2015 Civil Rights Awards, which will be presented at the annual Carle Whitehead Bill of Rights Dinner on Thursday, October 8th at the Four Seasons Hotel in Denver. Senator Udall will receive the Carle Whitehead Memorial Award in recognition of his accomplishments as a legislator in advancing and defending civil rights and civil liberties. Nita.... | Read More
ACLU statement on the Colorado Supreme Court decision regarding legal off-duty use of medical marijuana
June 16, 2015 “An employer has a legitimate interest in ensuring that employees are not impaired while on the job. But an employer has no legitimate interest in worker’s off-the-job conduct that does not interfere with on-the-job performance. When there is no impact on doing the job, a worker’s off-duty use of medical marijuana is none of the employer’s business and should not be grounds for termination. We regret that the Colorado Supreme Court has upheld the firing of Mr..... | Read More
U.S. Senate passes USA Freedom Act
June 2, 2015 WASHINGTON — The Senate passed the USA Freedom Act today, a bill to amend the Patriot Act’s Section 215 and other surveillance authorities. Jameel Jaffer, American Civil liberties Union deputy legal director, had this reaction: “The passage of the USA Freedom Act is a milestone. This is the most important surveillance reform bill since 1978, and its passage is an indication that Americans are no longer willing to give the intelligence agencies a blank check..... | Read More
Defendant Monitored by NSA Files First-of-Its-Kind Legal Challenge
In the first filing of its kind, a criminal defendant who was notified that his communications were monitored under the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 today challenged the law’s constitutionality and the admissibility of evidence obtained under it. The defendant, Jamshid Muhtorov, is represented in the motion by the Federal Public Defender’s Office, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the ACLU of Colorado. The motion argues that the FISA Amendments Act violates the Fourth Amendment because.... | Read More
Statement on new marijuana rules passed by Denver City Council
Statement of ACLU of Colorado Public Policy Director Denise Maes on new marijuana rules passed last night by the Denver City Council “The ACLU of Colorado is grateful that the Denver City Council ultimately abandoned efforts to recriminalize marijuana possession throughout much of the city and personal use on private property. The Council heard the clear and consistent call from the public to put an end to unnecessary and inefficient over-policing of marijuana. “Thanks to the Council and.... | Read More
ACLU of CO Strongly Opposes Denver’s Proposed Marijuana Rules
October 11, 2013 Statement of ACLU of Colorado Legal Director Mark Silverstein “The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado strongly opposes Denver’s ill-advised, unnecessary, and unconstitutional proposed rules ‘concerning the possession and consumption of marijuana.’ “The ordinance, as proposed, is an irrational overreach that will inevitably result in unnecessary police-community confrontations. Voters made it clear last year that law enforcement time and resources should.... | Read More
Scanners Allow Police to Collect Location Info on Millions of Americans
July 17, 2013 Documents obtained from Colorado police departments show tracking data is kept for years, even indefinitely Denver – Police departments in Colorado and all around the country are rapidly expanding their use of automatic license plate readers to track the location of drivers, but few have meaningful rules in place to protect privacy rights, according to documents released today by the American Civil Liberties Union. As a result, the new documents reveal, many departments are keeping.... | Read More
City of Loveland Settles with ACLU over Detainment and Search
May 9, 2013 DENVER – The ACLU of Colorado today announced a $35,000 settlement with the City of Loveland following the detainment and search of Johnstown resident David Kramer during a minor traffic stop by Loveland police on July 4, 2011. Kramer was held in handcuffs for more than an hour and was subjected, in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights, to a search of his body, his wallet, and his vehicle by Loveland police, who gave no justification other than a claim they smelled marijuana,.... | Read More
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