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.
ACLU challenges Town of Parker
Acting on behalf of an organization planning a benefit to raise money for the families of active military personnel, the ACLU of Colorado today challenged the Town of Parker’s ban on the display of banners and American flags during the special event planned for June 4 at a privately owned restaurant in Parker. Gary Adler, President and CEO of the Pro Players Association, asked for the ACLU’s assistance after Parker officials insisted that his application for a permit depended.... | Read More
Charges Dismissed Against DNC Protestor Who Was Struck With Baton By Cop
Press Conference Today at 3:00 p.m. 1600 Stout Street, Suite 1000, Denver Issued by Daniel Recht and David Beller, ACLU cooperating attorneys for Code Pink Protestor Alicia Forrest This morning, the Denver City Attorney dismissed criminal charges against DNC peace activist and Code Pink member, Alicia Forrest. Ms. Forrest was charged with interfering with a police officer after a video captured Denver Police Officer Scott Stewart violently strike Ms. Forrest with his baton and yell, “back.... | Read More
ACLU seeks changes to Denver’s proposed permit laws being revised in anticipation of the Democratic National Convention
CONTACT: Staff Attorney Taylor Pendergrass, 303-777-5482 x104; 303-817-9502 Executive Director Cathryn Hazouri, 303-777-5482 x116; 303-257-7455 The ACLU Foundation of Colorado today sent a letter to Denver city officials detailing “serious constitutional problems” with the City’s proposed laws for parade and park permits. Although the laws are being revised by Denver in anticipation of the 2008 DNC, the proposed changes would affect all Denver permit requests from the moment.... | Read More
In ACLU lawsuit regarding First Amendment activity during DNC, parties agree on some issues; additional issues remain for federal court resolutions
Attorneys representing the City and County of Denver and the Secret Service, and ACLU of Colorado attorneys representing twelve advocacy organizations, filed documents late Thursday evening in federal district court indicating that they had reached agreement on some of the issues raised in an ACLU lawsuit filed May 1 that seeks to protect the right of free expression during the time of the Democratic National Convention in Denver in August, 2008. The parties filed a document titled Stipulation Regarding.... | Read More
ACLU sues Denver seeking disclosure of DNC-related purchases of police equipment
Invoking Colorado’s open records laws, the ACLU of Colorado filed suit today in Denver District Court, asking that Denver be ordered to disclose records related to budgeting for and purchase of police equipment dating from January 2007, when Denver was selected as the host city for the 2008 Democratic National Convention. The federal government has allocated $50 million to reimburse Denver for security-related expenses connected to the convention. Denver has revealed that $18 million.... | Read More
ACLU sues Denver on behalf of five innocent victims of “mistaken identity” arrests
CONTACT: Mark Silverstein, ACLU Legal Director, 303.777.5482 x114 On behalf of five clients, the ACLU of Colorado filed suit today against the City and County of Denver and various Denver law enforcement officers, charging that in each case, “recklessly sloppy police work” resulted in the innocent plaintiff’s arrest and imprisonment—as long as 26 days in one case—for crimes with which they had no connection whatsoever. The lawsuit describes the ACLU clients as victims.... | Read More