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.

RAZING ARIZONA: Critiques of Immigration Enforcement From SB 1070 to Secure Communities

Join the ACLU and many other groups for this FREE panel (lunch provided) on immigration enforcement:

Over the last several years, immigration enforcement programs have experienced viral growth on a federal, state, and local level. Ranging from the highly publicized Arizona SB 1070 to Colorado state legislation targeting immigrant communities to the federal Secure Communities program, these initiatives have ushered in an unprecedented era of immigration enforcement likely to impact hundreds of thousands of immigrants per year. These enforcement paradigms, while radically transforming the nature of immigration law and the dynamics of the criminal justice system, raise important constitutional and policy-based questions. Further, such programs have increasingly been shown to have significant adverse impacts on state and local budgets, community policing relationships, the public perception of immigrants, and the larger immigrant community.

This panel will explore both the intended and unintended consequences of these regimes from the perspectives of immigrants, civil rights attorneys, law enforcement leaders, and elected officials.

Alfredo Gutierrez, Former President of the Arizona State Senate
Ron Hampton, Former Executive Director, National Black Police Association
Chris Newman, Legal Director, National Day Laborer Organizing Network
Jeanette Vizguerra, Community Organizer, Rights for All People
Introduction by Catherine Smith, Associate Dean of Institutional Diversity and Inclusiveness
Moderated by Christine Cimini, Ronald V. Yegge Clinical Director

Date: February 17, 2011 Time: 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm

Place: University of Denver Room 165, Sturm College of Law, 2255 East Evans Avenue, Denver (lunch provided)
CLE CREDIT PENDING: 1 General Credit

Co-sponsors: DU Law Review, Latino Law Student Association, National Lawyers Guild, American Civil Liberties Union, Spanish Speaking Law Student Association, Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, and Amnesty International

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