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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.

25. Dispatch from The Border

 

On June 30th, thousands of Coloradans across the state rallied to urge an end to President Trump’s cruel policy of family separation. On this podcast, John sits down with Alejandra who traveled to the US/Mexico border in Brownsville, Texas to see firsthand the impact Trump’s zero-tolerance policy has had on families seeking asylum. Afterward, we will listen to Alejandra’s interview with a 9-year-old child who came to the US seeking asylum, was taken from his father, and held for a week in a place he calls “the icebox.”

Call To Action: The Department of Homeland Security is responsible for inflicting heinous abuses on children in its custody. Voice your concern and contact your senator now by going to http://bit.ly/dhsiceabuse

To read All That He Owns, by Alejandra Garza go to: https://greaterparkhill.org/2018/07/all-that-he-owns/

For more photos and videos go to: https://www.flickr.com/photos/acluofcolorado/albums/72157697208640531

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The Purple State Report is brought to you by the ACLU of Colorado. Our show was produced by Vanessa Michel, John Krieger, and Alejandra Garza with original theme music by Pablo Novelas. Additional music by Alela Diane and Dexter Britain. If you have feedback or suggestions for future episodes email us at purplestate@aclu-co.org.



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