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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.

Decisive Victory for Reproductive Freedom in Colorado…Again

While the pundits debate the aftermath of the midterm elections, it’s worth noting that there was one bright spot, right here in Colorado. For the second time in two years, our voters rejected a ballot initiative that could have seriously threatened the ability of women and families to make private health care decisions.

And the victory was decisive: 71 to 29 percent said no to Amendment 62, which would have not only prohibited abortions but could have been used to block stem cell research and curtail access to in-vitro fertilization and certain forms of contraception, among other reproductive health services. When faced with a virtually identical measure in 2008, voters rejected it 73 to 27 percent.

The fact that voters rejected this measure by a 3-1 margin yet again sends a strong message to our elected officials that voters have no interest in taking away a woman's right to make personal, private decisions about her health care. But we must remain vigilant. “Personhood” measures will continue to be debated at ballot boxes and in legislatures around the country.

Colorado’s decisive victory sends a clear message to the fringe group behind the so-called “personhood” measure — we want our government to protect, not interfere with, personal decisions about our health and families. We may not all feel the same about abortion, but we can agree everyone’s life and circumstances are different; we must respect people's personal choices even if we wouldn't make the same decision.

The message from Coloradans is clear: we need to stop the political wrangling over abortion and start focusing on building a world where everyone has the resources and opportunity to decide what makes for a good life, and to live that life. When it comes to our reproductive health and lives this means everyone has access to a continuum of services — from honest sex education to affordable birth control to prenatal care to child care assistance to the option of abortion.



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