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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.

Colorado Business Owners, Faith Leaders, and Community Groups to Hold Press Conference Opposing Right-to-Discriminate Bills

March 2, 2015

DENVER – Next Monday, the State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee of the Colorado House of Representatives will consider House Bills 1161 and 1171, two right-to-discriminate bills that would let individuals and businesses claim their religious beliefs allow them to refuse to follow laws they don’t like – including domestic violence, public safety, and nondiscrimination laws.

In response, a coalition of Colorado business owners, faith leaders, and community groups will gather for a press conference before the hearing at 12:30 p.m. in the West Foyer of the Colorado State Capitol. Speakers will urge members of the committee to oppose both bills and to send a clear message that religious freedom is important, that it’s already protected by the First Amendment in our Constitution, and that we can’t just let people pick and choose which laws they want to follow.

Due to the sweeping nature of bills like these, which are ripe for abuse and have already led to lawsuits across the country at taxpayers’ expense, a number of community groups and individuals have announced their opposition to HB 1161 and 1171 – including the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Anti-Defamation League (Mountain States Region), Colorado Women’s Bar Association, Plaintiff Employment Lawyers Association, and former Deputy District Attorney Michael Carrigan, to name a few.

WHAT:
Press conference opposing right-to-discriminate bills, HB 1161 and 1171

WHEN:
Next Monday, March 9, 2015 at 12:30 p.m.

WHERE:
West Foyer of the Colorado State Capitol

WHO:
Former Deputy District Attorney Michael Carrigan
Denver area business owners Keo Frazier and Andrew Feinstein
Local faith leader Rev. Brian Rossbert
Women’s health and other community representatives



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