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.
Presenting documentary evidence of FBI political spying, ACLU files FOIA request on behalf of 16 organizations and 10 individuals
At a news conference held today at the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado (ACLU), Legal Director Mark Silverstein presented documentary evidence that the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (“JTTF”), contrary to its public statements, has been collecting information about the peaceful protest activities of Colorado residents and the constitutionally-protected activities of law-abiding advocacy groups. “The FBI is collecting information about nonviolent protesters and.... | Read More
ACLU Sues Denver Seeking Disclosure of Document Describing Police Department’s Relationship with FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force
Relying on the Colorado Open Records Act, the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado (ACLU) filed suit today against the City and County of Denver, seeking disclosure of a document that sets out the terms of the Denver Police Department's participation in the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). The Denver JTTF, one of over five dozen similar task forces around the country, is run by the FBI and includes full-time agents on loan from participating federal, state and local law enforcement.... | Read More
ACLU and Denver Officials Agree to Resolve Lawsuit over Denver Police Spy Files
The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Colorado (ACLU) announced a settlement today of its landmark lawsuit challenging the Denver Police Department’s practice of monitoring and recording the peaceful protest activities of Denver-area residents and keeping criminal intelligence files on the expressive activities of law-abiding advocacy groups, some of which were falsely labeled as “criminal extremist.” “Denver has agreed to put an end to its decades-long practice.... | Read More
Colorado Springs Police Surveillance Information Appears in Denver Spy Files
The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Colorado (ACLU) today released documents revealing that the Colorado Springs Police Department has collected intelligence information on the free speech activities of peaceful critics of government policy and has sent its information directly to the Denver Police Department for inclusion, with other information about First Amendment activities in Colorado Springs, in the controversial Denver Police Spy Files. "Earlier this year we learned that individuals.... | Read More
ACLU of Colorado Files Class Action Lawsuit Challenging Denver Police Spyfiles on Peaceful Protest Activities
The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Colorado (ACLU) filed a class action lawsuit today challenging the Denver Police Department's practice of monitoring and recording the peaceful protest activities of Denver-area residents, keeping files on the expressive activities of law-abiding advocacy organizations, and sharing those files with third parties. The suit also charges that Denver police have falsely labeled the ACLU's clients as "criminal extremist," including the.... | Read More
ACLU Calls for Denver Police to Stop Keeping Files on Peaceful Protesters
In a news conference held today, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Colorado (ACLU) charged that the Denver Police Department is monitoring and recording the peaceful protest activities of Denver-area residents and keeping files on the expressive activities of law-abiding advocacy organizations. The ACLU also contended that the Denver Police Department has inappropriately smeared the reputations of peaceful advocates of nonviolent social change by falsely labeling their organizations.... | Read More