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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.

Defense of Marriage Act Invalidated by the Supreme Court

June 26, 2013

Colorado’s ban on marriage equality puts state at a moral and competitive disadvantage after ruling

Statement of ACLU of Colorado Executive Director Nathan Woodliff-Stanley on the Supreme Court’s ruling on the ACLU lawsuit, Windsor v. United States, invalidating the discriminatory policies of the Defense of Marriage Act.

“Today is a great day for equality and the beginning of the end for official discrimination against lesbians and gay men. The Defense of Marriage Act is the last federal law on the books that mandates discrimination against gay people just because they're gay, and today the Supreme Court took down its core.

“In Colorado, we recently made important progress by allowing same-sex couples to enter into civil unions. But civil unions are not the same as marriage, and won't qualify couples for all the federal benefits that marriage would. Today’s decision only holds some promise for those same-sex couples living in Colorado who married elsewhere: the federal government will recognize their marriage in certain instances. But this decision does not allow same-sex couples to marry in Colorado and it does not change the fact that many married same-sex couples living in Colorado are not considered married by our state.

“All loving and committed couples in Colorado should have the right to marry. The impediment is Colorado’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, which is a relic of the same discriminatory sentiment that produced DOMA. It is unjust and, after today, it puts our state at both a moral and competitive disadvantage against states that recognize full marriage equality. The ACLU of Colorado is committed to ending our state’s ban on marriage equality, so that all Coloradans can marry.”



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