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.
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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.
A Year Without Sleep – ACLU & NLCHP Report Finds Durango has Criminalized Sleep for Homeless Residents
December 12, 2018 DENVER – The City of Durango has made sleeping outdoors, even without any cover or shelter, a criminal act for homeless residents who have nowhere else to go, according to a report issued this morning by ACLU of Colorado and the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty (Law Center) titled A Year Without Sleep: How the City of Durango has criminalized sleep for homeless residents. ACLU of Colorado and the Law Center analyzed citations issued by the Durango police.... | Read More
Judge Rules Colorado Sheriffs Have No Legal Authority to Hold Prisoners for ICE
December 7, 2018 DENVER – State District Court Judge Eric Bentley issued a final ruling last night barring El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder from holding people in jail at the request of federal immigration enforcement (ICE) after they have posted bond, completed their sentence, or otherwise resolved their criminal case. “In issuing a very thorough final ruling that concludes the proceedings in state district court, Judge Bentley explained that Colorado sheriffs have no legal authority to enforce.... | Read More
ACLU Sues Aurora for Brutalizing and Unlawfully Arresting Latino Man
November 20, 2018 ACLU Sues Aurora for Brutalizing and Unlawfully Arresting Latino Man Lawsuit Alleges Widespread Pattern of Racially Biased Policing Denver – The ACLU of Colorado sued the city of Aurora this morning on behalf of Alberto Torres, a Latino man who was illegally ordered out of his home and unjustifiably beaten by Aurora police officers who were called to investigate a noise complaint. According to the lawsuit, Torres was fixing a car in his garage with friends when an.... | Read More
ACLU of Colorado Will Defend Fort Collins Man Who Was a Victim of Selective Enforcement of City’s Anti-Homeless Camping Ban
November 1, 2018 DENVER – The ACLU of Colorado announced this morning that it will represent Adam Wiemold, a homeless man who was charged with illegal “camping” by Fort Collins police for sleeping in his vehicle at a designated rest area where truck drivers regularly sleep in their vehicles undisturbed by police. “At the rest stop, Fort Collins police harass and ticket homeless people for sleeping in their cars, while leaving commercial truckers alone to sleep soundly through the night,”.... | Read More
2018 Voter Guide
The 2018 elections are critical, and we encourage everyone to vote. We do not endorse candidates, but we do take positions on initiatives that impact civil rights and civil liberties. Click here to download your 2018 Voter Guide. This year, ACLU of Colorado has taken the following positions on statewide ballot initiatives: Vote YES on Amendment A to remove slavery from the Colorado constitution: The Colorado constitution currently reads, "There shall never be in this state either slavery.... | Read More
Vote Yes on V to Give Youth a Voice
By Emma Davis Youth Volunteer, ACLU of Colorado October 15, 2018 Since the 2016 election, I have been active in the ACLU of Colorado. I've lobbied, phone-banked, spoken at events and been to countless protests. During the legislative session, I am constantly visiting state legislators, talking to aides and working to convince our representatives to vote “yes” or “no” on certain bills. But I'm still just a teenager. Right now, my opportunities are limited, but someday, I hope to become.... | Read More