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 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
ACLU Holds Press Conference to Respond to Denver Police Department Special Bulletin Asking First Responders to Look for “Stockpiles” of Supplies
The ACLU of Colorado responded to a bulletin—revealed August 20 in the Rocky Mountain News—that the Denver Police Department reportedly issued last week to all police, sheriff, and fire department personnel. The bulletin asks all law enforcement and fire department personnel to be on the lookout for, and to report “stockpiles and caches of supplies” that that could be used by “violent demonstrators” during the upcoming Democratic National Convention. The bulletin.... | Read More
ACLU Files Class Action Lawsuit Challenging Search of Greeley Tax Preparer’s Office
CONTACT: Mark Silverstein, ACLU Legal Director, 303.777.5482 x114 In a class action lawsuit filed in state district court Monday evening, the ACLU of Colorado argued that Weld County Sheriff John Cooke and Nineteenth Judicial District Attorney Ken Buck are violating the privacy rights of thousands of law-abiding taxpayers by keeping copies of confidential information obtained in an illegal search of Amalia’s Translation and Tax Service in Greeley, Colorado, last fall. “The search violated.... | Read More
ACLU wins Weld Tax case
Ruling anticipated Monday morning in ACLU’s class action suit against Weld County District Attorney and Weld County Sheriffnto Law UPDATE: THE JUDGE RULED IN THE ACLU's FAVOR- Read Press Articles here CONTACT: Mark Silverstein, ACLU Legal Director, 303-777-5482 x114 At a hearing set for Monday April 13 in the Weld County Courthouse, Judge James Hiatt is expected to announce his ruling on the ACLU’s request for a preliminary injunction in the class action case that challenges the.... | Read More
ACLU Defends Francisco Reina And Sues To Challenge Craig
CONTACT: Mark Silverstein, ACLU Legal Director, 303-777-5482 x114 Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado (ACLU) filed suit against the City of Craig in Moffat County District Court late Monday afternoon, asking the court to declare that a provision of the Craig City Charter violates the First Amendment and cannot be enforced. The Charter forbids candidates for city posts to spend more than $500 on their campaigns. The ACLU filed the legal action on behalf of Francisco Reina,.... | Read More