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 Demands 31 Colorado Cities Repeal Unconstitutional Anti-Panhandling Laws
DENVER – ACLU of Colorado sent letters to 31 cities across the state today demanding that they repeal unconstitutional laws that restrict panhandling. The letters are part of a coordinated effort, organized by the National Center on Homelessness and Poverty, involving 18 organizations in 12 states targeting more than 240 outdated panhandling bans. In Colorado, individualized letters were sent challenging ordinances in Aguilar, Alma, Berthoud, Blue River, Brush, Central City, Columbine.... | Read More
Job Announcement: Director of Campaigns
Join the fight for civil rights and civil liberties in Colorado. We're hiring a Director of Campaigns. Find out more and apply today. JOB ANNOUNCEMENT DIRECTOR OF CAMPAIGNS If you are passionate about protecting the rights of ALL people, there has never been a more exciting time to pursue a career at the ACLU, the nation’s foremost defender of civil liberties and civil rights. As we face unprecedented challenges to civil rights and liberties for immigrant families and asylum seekers,.... | Read More
El Paso County Agrees to Pay $190K to Nearly 200 Individuals Who Were Jailed Because They Could Not Pay a $55 Fee
DENVER - El Paso County has agreed, as part of a 190,000 settlement with ACLU of Colorado, to compensate 184 people, including ACLU client Jasmine Still, who were held in the El Paso County Jail solely because they could not pay a $55 fee. The proposed settlement, which is expected to be formally approved by county commissioners on Tuesday, provides for a $60,000 payment for Still’s damages, attorneys’ fees and costs. An additional 183 people are eligible for compensation based on a rate of.... | Read More
26. SCOTUS and Life After Roe
https://soundcloud.com/thepurplestatereport/scotus-and-life-after-roe With Justice Kennedy’s retirement and Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court there are a lot of anxieties about civil liberties in general, but specifically reproductive rights. On this episode, ACLU of Colorado Reproductive Rights Campaign Coordinator Delana Maynes interviews Reproductive Rights Policy Council Lizzy Hinkley on the real possibility that the Supreme Court could overturn Roe v. Wade. Later.... | Read More
ACLU Sues Teller County Sheriff for Illegally Holding Prisoner for ICE
DENVER – The ACLU of Colorado filed a lawsuit today against Teller County Sheriff Jason Mikesell alleging that he is violating Colorado law by continuing to jail an individual who is eligible for release, at the request of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Leonardo Canseco is charged with two misdemeanors, and the Teller County Court set his bond at $800. According to the lawsuit, the sheriff is acting on a detainer request from federal immigration authorities, who suspect that.... | Read More
2018 Legislative Scorecard
A Note from Public Policy Director Denise Maes Colorado’s legislative session is 120 days and a great deal happens in these mere four months that affect many Coloradans. For example, in the 2018 session, transportation and education saw unprecedented gains in funding. The legislature infused $645 million into multi-modal transportation and infrastructure and increased per pupil funding by $469 per student. Civil liberties legislation rarely gets much attention. The one exception this year.... | Read More