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 for Jailing Man Who Could Not Pay $50 Fee
October 10, 2018 DENVER – The ACLU of Colorado sued Denver this morning on behalf of Mickey Howard, who was held in the Denver Jail for 5 days after a court ordered his release upon payment of a $10 bond, because he could not pay an additional $50 “bond fee.” According to the lawsuit, Denver has a policy of continuing to imprison people who are unable to pay a $50 “bond fee,” even when they have the money to post the bond amount set by the court. “Mr. Howard was arrested.... | Read More
Vote Yes on A to Abolish Slavery
By Nathan Woodliff-Stanley, ACLU of Colorado Executive Director Would it surprise you to learn that even though Colorado was never a slave state, the Colorado Constitution still leaves a door open for legal slavery in this state? Colorado voters have the opportunity on November 6 to vote yes on Amendment A and close this constitutional loophole, finishing the constitutional abolition of slavery in Colorado. Along with the Abolish Slavery Colorado coalition and a wide array of bipartisan and.... | Read More
ACLU Demands Colorado State University Amend Policing Practices Following Racial Profiling of Two Young Native American Men
DENVER – The American Civil Liberties Union sent a demand letter today to Colorado State University urging the university to amend its campus police policies and training requirements following a racial profiling incident this spring. On April 30, 2018, Kanewakeron Thomas Gray and Skanahwati Lloyd Gray, two Native American brothers touring Colorado State University, were racially profiled by another member of the admissions tour. Employees of the CSU police department detained, questioned.... | Read More
ACLU of Colorado to Honor Chuck Plunkett, Dave Krieger, Alex Landau, Amy Robertson and Tim Fox as 2018 Civil Rights Award Recipients
DENVER – The ACLU of Colorado is proud to announce that Chuck Plunkett, Dave Krieger, Alex Landau, Amy Robertson and Tim Fox will receive our 2018 Civil Rights Awards, which will be presented at the Bill of Rights Dinner on Thursday, September 27th at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Denver. Amy Robertson and Tim Fox are co-executive directors of the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC), a nationwide civil rights organization based in Denver. Over the last several years, they have.... | Read More
ACLU and Colorado Department of Corrections Reach Historic Settlement to Treat All Colorado Prisoners with Hepatitis C
DENVER – Under a settlement finalized this morning, the Colorado Department of Corrections has agreed to spend $41 million over two years to treat prisoners with hepatitis C. The funding is expected to provide treatment to all of the 2,200 Colorado prisoners currently infected with chronic hepatitis C. The settlement ends a class action lawsuit brought last year by ACLU of Colorado and its cooperating attorneys at Fox Rothschild LLP. The attorneys spent more than 1,200 hours over nearly three.... | Read More
ACLU of Colorado Releases Blueprint for Reducing Incarceration by 50 Percent
DENVER — The ACLU of Colorado today released a report that outlines how Colorado can cut incarceration in half and save more than $675 million by 2025 by pursuing reforms to its drug policy, parole and prosecutorial practices, and sentencing laws. The Blueprint for Smart Justice includes an analysis of who is being sent to jail and prison in Colorado and the racial disparities that are present, what drives people into the system, how long people spend behind bars, and why people are imprisoned.... | Read More