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?
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.
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.
CONTACT: Mark Silverstein, ACLU Legal Director, 303-777-5482 x114 The ACLU of Colorado announced today a settlement of a four-year-old legal battle over state regulations that apply to rallies, demonstrations, and other First Amendment activity on the West steps of the Capitol Building and nearby locations administered by the Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration (DPA). “Colorado has now revised regulations adopted in 2004 that threatened the right of the public to freely.... | Read More
Federal court orders class action status in ACLU case on behalf of prisoners in Garfield County Jail
CONTACT: Mark Silverstein, ACLU Legal Director, 303.777.5482 x114 Federal district court judge Wiley Y. Daniel issued a 42-page opinion Thursday that certifies, as a class action, an ACLU lawsuit filed in 2006 on behalf of prisoners in the Garfield County Jail in Glenwood Springs. The motion for class certification had been waiting for decision since October, 2006, but a ruling was delayed because of the long illness of Judge Phillip S. Figa, to whom the case had originally been assigned. .... | Read More
Settlement reached in civil rights lawsuit over flashlight beating by former Colorado Springs police officer
CONTACT: Elizabeth Harris, ACLU cooperating attorney, 303.389.4647 Mark Silverstein, ACLU Legal Director, 303.777.5482 x114 The ACLU of Colorado announced today that it had reached an agreement with the City of Colorado Springs to resolve a federal civil rights lawsuit filed last summer that alleged that a Springs police officer beat the ACLU’s client, Delvikio Faulkner, multiple times in the head with a heavy-duty police flashlight after a traffic stop in July, 2005. “The City.... | Read More
ACLU applauds Boulder Valley School District
LOUISVILLE, CO - A spokesperson for the ACLU of Colorado announced today that it welcomes a decision of the Boulder Valley School District (“BVSD”) to limit searches of students’ cell phone text messages, an issue the ACLU raised in a letter made public in October, 2007. In that letter, the ACLU asserted that non-consensual searches of text messages violate a Colorado criminal statute designed to protect the privacy of telephone and electronic communications. New guidelines state.... | Read More
ACLU sues Denver and Secret Service to protect First Amendment rights during 2008 Democratic National Convention
The ACLU of Colorado announced today that it had filed suit in federal court on behalf of 12 advocacy organizations against the United States Secret Service and the City and County of Denver, seeking to protect the right to engage in peaceful marches, demonstrations, and assemblies during the Democratic National Convention in Denver this coming August. “On behalf of clients representing a dozen national and Colorado organizations, the ACLU has filed suit to ensure that law enforcement’s.... | Read More
ACLU Sues Denver for Disclosure of City Jail Policies and Procedures in Advance of Democratic National Convention
The ACLU of Colorado announced today that it had filed suit against Denver in state district court seeking disclosure of the policy and procedure manual that governs the processing and treatment of detainees at Denver’s downtown city jail, known as the Pre-Arraignment Detention Facility, or PADF. The PADF is Denver’s intake center, where arrestees are first taken to be booked, fingerprinted, given the opportunity to post bond, and housed until they are released or eventually transferred.... | Read More