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.

Public Policy Director Maes on Gun Control and Mental Health

You're invited to a panel discussion featuring our Public Policy Director, Denise Maes this Tuesday, October 2nd. Due to the horrific mass shootings at Columbine and the more recent Aurora Century Theater, gun control and mental health are frequent topics of conversation and concern here in Colorado. Then Newtown happened, prompting President Obama in his State of the Union address to strongly declare an urgent need for gun legislation. Yet, gun violence continues to occur every day across our nation. Both sides of the gun debate acknowledge that mental health is a critical issue when it comes to gun violence, but neither side has been forthcoming in introducing any meaningful legislation to address it. What is it that makes this issue so difficult to tackle? Should the focus be on mental health, as some have suggested, rather than gun control? Will there ever be a con¬sensus on guns and those who should have a right to own them? Former State Representative Fran Coleman has assembled a panel of local legislators and advocates to address this controversial topic. Some of these individuals have worked on passing laws; some are advocates for quality mental health access; others advocate protecting our civil rights. Come and respectfully listen to each panelist’s viewpoint, and leave with a better idea of which legislation is “just right” and which doesn’t go far enough. Q&A will be included, time permitting.

Featured panelists include:
– Senator Lois Tochtrop, Adams County Senate District 24
– Representative Brian DelGrosso, Larimer County House District 51
– The Honorable Moe Keller, Vice President of Public Policy and Strategic Initiatives, MHAC (Mental Health Association of Colorado)
– Michael Lott Manier, MHAC Policy and Advocacy Specialist
– Tom Mauser, spokesman for Colorado Ceasefire and father of Daniel Mauser who died at Columbine High School shooting
– George DelGrosso, Executive Director of the Colorado Behavioral Health Council
– Denise Maes, Public Policy Director at the Colorado ACLU
– Moderator Fran Coleman, former State Repre¬sentative House District 1 (1998-2006)

One evening
Wed., 6:30–8:30 pm, Oct. 2, 2013
CRN 1107 / $15 

For more information and to register, visit

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