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.
25. Dispatch from The Border
https://soundcloud.com/thepurplestatereport/dispatch-from-the-border On June 30th, thousands of Coloradans across the state rallied to urge an end to President Trump’s cruel policy of family separation. On this podcast, John sits down with Alejandra who traveled to the US/Mexico border in Brownsville, Texas to see firsthand the impact Trump’s zero-tolerance policy has had on families seeking asylum. Afterward, we will listen to Alejandra’s interview with a 9-year-old child who came.... | Read More
DA Drops Criminal Charge Against Mom Who Wrote “STOP PUTTING KIDS IN CAGES” in Chalk Outside of Rep. Ken Buck’s Office
DENVER – The District Attorney’s Office of the 18th District announced yesterday via Twitter that it will dismiss the "criminal tampering" charge against Shauna Johnson, a mother of two who wrote “STOP PUTTING KIDS IN CAGES” in chalk on the sidewalk outside of Rep. Ken Buck’s Castle Rock District Office. The DA’s office wrote that it reviewed the case, and “determined that justice would be a dismissal.” Statement from ACLU of Colorado Legal Director Mark Silverstein: “We.... | Read More
Aurora Pays 75K to Settle Two ACLU Police Misconduct Lawsuits
DENVER - The City of Aurora has agreed to pay $75,000 to ACLU of Colorado clients Omar Hassan and Dwight Crews, two black men who sued over separate incidents of mistreatment by the Aurora Police Department. According to an ACLU lawsuit filed in September 2017, two Aurora police officers ordered Hassan to leave a coffee shop after telling him, “Your kind of business is not welcome here.” He will receive $40,000. Crews, a disabled 60-year-old man, was removed from his home without a warrant.... | Read More
ACLU Will Defend Mom Who Faces Jail Time for Writing “Stop Putting Kids in Cages” in Chalk Outside of Rep. Ken Buck’s Office
DENVER – ACLU of Colorado announced today that it will represent Shauna Johnson, a mother of two who was charged with “criminal tampering” after she wrote “Stop putting kids in cages” in chalk on the sidewalk outside of Rep. Ken Buck’s Castle Rock District Office. “Shauna Johnson is a concerned constituent who wanted to communicate an urgent message to Representative Buck in opposition to mass child abuse being perpetrated by the Trump Administration at the border,” said ACLU of.... | Read More
24. Boulder DA Candidate: Mike Foote
https://soundcloud.com/thepurplestatereport/mike-foote District Attorneys are one of the most influential players in the criminal justice system. They choose who gets charged for which crimes, hold police accountable for misconduct, and provide access to alternatives to incarceration. Fair-minded district attorneys can help bring an end to racially-biased policing, unequal bail practices and mass incarceration, yet elections for DA are often overlooked. On June 26, Boulder County voters.... | Read More
23. Boulder DA Candidate: Michael Dougherty
https://soundcloud.com/thepurplestatereport/michael-dougherty District Attorneys are one of the most influential players in the criminal justice system. They choose who gets charged for which crimes, hold police accountable for misconduct, and provide access to alternatives to incarceration. Fair-minded district attorneys can help bring an end to racially-biased policing, unequal bail practices and mass incarceration, yet elections for DA are often overlooked. On June 26, Boulder County.... | Read More