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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.

Federal Court Rejects Attempt to Require Taxpayer Funding of Religious Schools in Douglas County

6/9/16

DENVER – Federal District Court Judge Marcia Krieger today denied plaintiffs’ request to issue an unprecedented emergency order requiring the Douglas County School District school voucher program to divert taxpayer funds to private religious schools.   The ACLU of Colorado, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, and the law firm Arnold & Porter – who successfully challenged the program before the Colorado Supreme Court last year – intervened last month in the case to challenge the plaintiffs’ collateral attack on that decision. 

ACLU cooperating attorney Matt Douglas of Arnold & Porter issued the following statement, on behalf of the ACLU of Colorado, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion.

“We commend the District Court’s ruling today in which the court agreed that this case is a clear attempt to circumvent the Colorado State Supreme Court decision of last year striking down the original Douglas County school voucher program as a violation of the Colorado Constitution.

“The Court also expressed serious doubts as to whether the case should go forward, given that the plaintiffs and the defendants clearly want the same result – to direct taxpayer funds to private, religious schools.  While denying the plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction, the Court invited motions to dismiss the case outright, which we intend to file.

“As we’ve argued throughout this case, and as the Colorado Supreme Court affirmed, parents are free to send their children to private, religious schools if they wish, but taxpayers should not be forced to pay for it.”

RESOURCES:

Read: ACLU, Americans United Challenge Lawsuit Attempting to Circumvent Colorado Supreme Court School Voucher Ruling

Read: ACLU, Americans United Applaud Colorado Supreme Court Decision Striking Down Voucher Program Funding Religious Schools

Visit the ACLU of Colorado Case Page: https://aclu-co.org/court-cases/la-rue-v-colorado-board-of-education/



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