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.
Shining a Light on Detention in our Own State
On December 2, Kamyar Samimi died an agonizing death in ICE custody at the immigration detention facility in Aurora, Colorado, operated by the GEO Group, a for-profit prison corporation. Yesterday, after a long and thorough investigation, ACLU of Colorado released our report, Cashing in on Cruelty: Stories of death, abuse and neglect at the GEO immigration detention facility in Aurora, which not only tells Samimi’s story, but also reveals many other stories of abuse, neglect and inadequate medical.... | Read More
ACLU Report Highlights Death, Abuse and Neglect at Aurora ICE Detention Facility
DENVER – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers operate without meaningful accountability or oversight. One facility in particular — the Aurora Contract Detention Facility (ACDF), operated by the for-profit prison company, The GEO Group, Inc. — violates the basic human rights of its mainly asylum-seeking detainees through medical neglect and abuse, which has led to at least two deaths, according to a report released today by the ACLU of Colorado. Cashing in.... | Read More
In ACLU Lawsuit, Greeley Agrees to Stop Enforcing “Median Ban” That Targets Panhandlers
DENVER – In response to an ACLU of Colorado lawsuit filed this morning in federal court, the City of Greeley has agreed to immediately stop enforcing its ordinance that bans pedestrians from being present on traffic medians “for longer than necessary to cross the street.” The lawsuit asserts that the “Median Ban” violates the free speech rights of people who want to stand on medians to engage in expressive conduct, including solicitation of charity. According to the lawsuit, Greeley.... | Read More
ACLU Lawsuit: Town Ordinance Silences Residents’ Freedom of Speech
July 25, 2019 DENVER – ACLU of Colorado attorneys sued the Town of Fraser this morning for prohibiting ACLU clients from posting communicative displays on their property that express their views on social and political issues. Beginning soon after the last presidential election, ACLU clients Melinda McWilliams and Alan Jensen began posting 2-sided displays in Jensen’s front yard in Fraser that communicated their displeasure with President Trump as well as the need for action about global.... | Read More
2019 Legislative Scorecard
A NOTE FROM PUBLIC POLICY DIRECTOR DENISE MAES 120 DAYS. That’s how long the 2019 legislative session lasted. And within those 120 days, we plotted an ambitious legislative agenda with 14 proactive bills, of which 13 passed and were signed into law. We championed legislation that will, for the first time in our state’s history, fund comprehensive sex education for schools seeking to adopt such a curriculum. We were also able to lift up legislation that will bring some relief to our immigrant.... | Read More
American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado (ACLU-CO) seeks a dynamic, experienced and talented Development Coordinator. This full-time, salaried position will be based in Denver. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is the nation’s foremost defender of constitutional rights and civil liberties. ACLU of Colorado, the Colorado affiliate of the ACLU, is the state’s guardian of freedom, working in the courts, in the legislature, and in communities across the state to protect and advance civil.... | Read More