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.
Effort to End the Death Penalty in Colorado Advances
January 28, 2020 Effort to End the Death Penalty in Colorado Advances DENVER – Coloradans from across the state and sponsors on both sides of the aisle gathered to hear SB20-100 to Repeal The Death Penalty. After six hours of testimony, the bill passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee with a 3-2 vote. “Yesterday’s testimony from faith leaders, an exoneree from death row, District Attorneys, corrections officers and, most significantly, family members who lost loved ones to murder,.... | Read More
29. Dean Sanderford
https://soundcloud.com/thepurplestatereport/29-dean-sanderford In this episode, we continue our series on Colorado’s death penalty. Our guest Dean Sanderford, witnessed the horribly botched execution of his client, Clayton Lockett. Public Policy Associate, Helen Griffiths interviews. Read the ACLU of Colorado report, “Ending a Broken System: Colorado’s Expensive, Ineffective and Unjust Death Penalty” at: http://bit.ly/EABSco Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-purple-state-report/id1257880553 The.... | Read More
ACLU of Colorado Wins Nationwide Injunction Against ICE FOIA Violations
DENVER – After more than three years of litigation, the federal district court in Colorado agreed with the ACLU that ICE has been repeatedly violating the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by denying immigration lawyers access to their clients’ files when ICE deemed the clients to be “fugitives.” In an extensive 44-page ruling, the court issued a final judgment and imposed a permanent nationwide injunction against the challenged practice. “ICE invented a reason for nondisclosure that.... | Read More
New leadership for the ACLU of Colorado
Since October of 2012, it has been my enormous privilege to serve as Executive Director of the ACLU of Colorado. Now, I am preparing to move on from this position, after completing our current fiscal year on March 31. I would not do this if I were not confident that we have the resources, staff and expertise to continue the critical work we do every day. You can read the official announcement at ACLU-co.org. When I began this position, I could not have imagined everything that we would accomplish.... | Read More
ACLU of Colorado Announces Leadership Transition
Current executive director to leave post in the spring DENVER – The ACLU of Colorado is announcing the departure of its current executive director, Nathan Woodliff-Stanley, in March 2020. The ACLU of Colorado’s Board of Directors will immediately launch a national search for a new executive director. The board will appoint an interim director following Woodliff-Stanley’s departure until his successor is selected. “We deeply appreciate Nathan’s dedicated and impactful service to.... | Read More
ACLU Report Highlights Stories of Victims’ Families who Oppose the Death Penalty
DENVER – An ACLU of Colorado report released today highlights 22 stories of families whose loved ones were murdered and why, in the face of such tragedy, they firmly oppose the death penalty. The death penalty is an expensive, ineffective and unjust process that harms victims’ families. Over the course of decades, victims’ families are forced to navigate a complicated legal process and relive the trauma of their loved one’s murder. “There was a trial for the killer’s accomplice that dragged.... | Read More