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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.

New documents confirm that FBI

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Colorado released new documents today that it says confirm that the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) is inappropriately treating peaceful protest as potential terrorism.

The ACLU obtained the documents in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed last December on behalf of sixteen organizations and ten individuals. The files released today concern the Colorado American Indian Movement and the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center. The ACLU expects to receive additional responses from the FBI in the next few months.

“These documents underscore the ACLU’s concern that the JTTF inappropriately regards public protest as potential “domestic terrorism,” prompting it to investigate and build files on the political activities of peaceful dissenters because of the mere possibility that their activities will attract participants who may violate the law,” said Mark Silverstein, ACLU Legal Director. “The FBI apparently regards even peaceful nonviolent civil disobedience as the proper subject of a ‘domestic terrorism’ investigation,” Silverstein continued. “By casting its net so unjustifiably wide, the FBI wastes taxpayers’ money and threatens to chill legitimate dissent.”

Silverstein said that the new files show that JTTF agents opened “domestic terrorism” investigations after they read web sites announcing an antiwar protest in Colorado Springs in 2003 and a protest against Columbus Day in Denver in 2002. They also reveal that the JTTF monitored the peaceful protest activities of law-abiding groups that formed the Coalition to Stop Vail Expansion in the late 1990s and that it investigated the Boulder-based Activist Media Project for videotaping a Lockheed Martin facility from a public street.

Denver contributes the services of two full-time detectives to the JTTF. In May, the ACLU asked Denver to withdraw from the FBI task force, because the Settlement Agreement that resolved the “Spy Files” case forbids Denver detectives to target individuals or organizations for investigation because of their First Amendment activities.

Read more about our work around the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force.



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