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.
Bill of Rights Dinner Nominations
On October 1, 2020, we will gather for our annual Bill of Rights Dinner to honor and celebrate the leaders in our community who protect and extend civil rights and liberties. Our nominations process is now open, and we want to hear from you about which individuals, groups, firms and organizations deserve to be recognized for their hard work. We are looking to honor leaders that have an outstanding commitment to and track record of advocating for members of disenfranchised communities, addressing.... | Read More
Donate Your Refund to Fight for Your Rights
This tax season, there’s an exciting new way to turn your refund into real results. ReFUND CO allows you to donate your state income tax return to a local nonprofit like ACLU of Colorado. Simply decide how much of your state income tax refund to donate, enter American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Colorado, Inc. and our registration number, 20023005801, on the “Donate to a Colorado Nonprofit Fund” line on your state tax return or tax software. With a few simple steps, you’re one step.... | Read More
“Do Not Kill in My Name” – How Colorado Finally Repealed the Death Penalty
For more than twenty years, an evolving coalition of victims’ family members, corrections officers, defense attorneys, prosecutors, faith leaders, and civil liberties champions have worked relentlessly to end the death penalty in Colorado. In 2019, following a democratic sweep of both the legislature and the Governor’s office, many thought repeal was inevitable. Unfortunately, the state senate could not bring the bill across the finish line. In response, the ACLU of Colorado launched an ambitious,.... | Read More
BREAKING: After Historic Vote, Colorado to Become 22nd State to End the Death Penalty
DENVER – After a nine month, community-led campaign, hours of emotional testimony and much debate, SB20-100 — the bill to end the death penalty in Colorado — passed its 3rd and final reading in the House. The bill is now headed to the Governor’s desk. Once signed, it will make Colorado the 22nd state to abolish the death penalty in the U.S. “Thanks to the support from faith leaders, death row exonerees, District Attorneys, corrections officers and, most significantly, family members.... | Read More
ACLU of Colorado Mourns the Loss of Long-time Leader and Advocate Judd Golden
ACLU of Colorado is deeply saddened by the death of Judd Golden, 70, on January 28, 2020. Judd was killed in a head-on collision on I-25 north of Pueblo when another car crossed the median. A long-time ACLU leader and volunteer, Judd was head of the Boulder Chapter of the ACLU for 20 years and a member of the chapter beginning in 1985. He was a volunteer cooperating attorney with the ACLU of Iowa starting in 1974, and moved to Colorado in 1984 as the Mountain States Counsel, a national ACLU staff.... | Read More
The Division of Youth Services is Right to Double Down on Culture Change
At the Capitol and in a recent op-ed, the Division of Youth Services has reaffirmed its commitment to culture change in DYS facilities. DYS has also put forward a plan to break down Lookout Mountain Youth Services Center into smaller facilities, to allow critical culture change to take root. These are the right steps to ensure safe and effective environments in DYS facilities, including Lookout Mountain. The call for culture change in Colorado’s juvenile facilities has been gaining momentum.... | Read More