Colorado Rights Blog


  • 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

  • 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.

ACLU of Colorado Bill of Rights Dinner

Four Seasons Hotel Denver

The ACLU of Colorado’s Bill of Rights Dinner is an annual event where we come together to celebrate our victories, honor our leaders, and inspire our community to continue the critical work of defending and preserving civil rights and civil liberties for all.  All funds raised by the Bill of Rights Dinner provide crucial support to sustain and expand the ACLU of Colorado’s vital legal, advocacy, communication, and education work throughout the state

Online Ticket Sales are Closed.
To purchase tickets by phone please contact Rachel at 720-402-3105 or

2017 Bill of Rights Dinner Honorees

Harold Fields will receive the  Carle Whitehead Memorial Award

Harold Fields is active in restorative justice and racial reconciliation projects in Denver and around the nation.  He facilitates a citywide monthly racial dialogue that has been continuously active since 1997, the Second Tuesday Race Forum.  He was a founder of Multi-Racial Families of Colorado and was the national training director for the documentary Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North.  He currently serves on the Board Trustees for The Denver Foundation and chairs the Community Impact Committee.  Harold has retired from over 30 years of large system design with IBM and the airline industry.


RMIAN will receive the Ralph Carr Award

The Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network (RMIAN) provides free immigration legal services to children and adults in immigration detention. RMIAN officially became a nonprofit organization in 2000, although its founding dates back to the early 1990s when a group of volunteer attorneys banded after witnessing grave injustices, including the detention of long-time lawful permanent residents, asylum seekers, and others who were forced to confront a hostile immigration court without the benefit of legal counsel and without the due process recognized as a cornerstone of our country’s justice system. Since 2003, RMIAN has had a daily presence at the immigration detention center in Aurora, conducting “know-your-rights” presentations, individual intakes, and self-help workshops to detained individuals who otherwise would never have an opportunity to talk with an attorney interested in protecting their legal rights and best interests. RMIAN launched its Children’s Program in 2005 to provide free legal services to immigrant children and to disseminate information regarding immigration issues to professionals working with children in Colorado.


Susan Greene will receive the Larry Tajiri Media Award

Susan Greene is editor and executive director of The Colorado Independent, a statewide, nonprofit news site at She worked 13 years for The Denver Post as a Denver city hall reporter, political reporter, national reporter and metro columnist. Before that, she reported for The Las Vegas Review-Journal, where she covered politics and the military, including Area 51 and other black budget programs. She started her newspaper career at The Victor Valley Daily Press. She has also worked for Nature magazine, Lear’s magazine, The Writing Seminars at The Johns Hopkins University, and taught writing classes in Nevada’s prison system. Susan is a native Michigander who lives in Denver with her two boys, Abe, 14, and Ike, 12. They, along with her partner, Andrew Romero, and his son Drew, should be commended for putting up with her journalism habit.

Thank you so much to our 2017 Sponsors!

Circle of Liberty:
Killmer, Lane & Newman, LLP

Justice Council:
Recht Kornfeld PC

Freedom League:
The Advocates & TLSS
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP
The Denver Foundation
Haddon Morgan & Foreman, PC
Heizer Paul LLP and BOLD Legal
Johnson & Klein, PLLC
King & Greisen LLP
Mendez Consulting, Inc
Carl J. Minnig Family Foundation
The Sawaya Law Firm
Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell LLP

Baker & Hostetler LLP
The Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center
Colorado Bar Association
Bob Connelly
University of Denver Sturm College of Law
Elkind Alterman Harston PC
Lowrey Parady, LLC
Anne Murdaugh and JB Holston
Rathod Mohamedbhai
Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network
Vicente Sederberg
Tierney Lawrence LLC
Williams & Daley LLC

Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP
Steve and Lee Rittvo
Laurie and Chris Steuri

Lee and Sandy Mulcahy in honor of Bud Mulcahy
The Colorado LGBT Bar Association


We are seeking sponsorships for this year’s dinner, and we hope you will consider joining us as a key sponsor of this event. For more information about the sponsorship levels and benefits, please contact Rachel at 720-402-3105 or

To view our sponsorship levels: 2017 ACLU Bill of Rights Dinner Sponsorship Levels

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