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.
18. “Thirty People Have to Go”
https://soundcloud.com/thepurplestatereport/30-people-have-to-go Colorado’s largest newspaper, The Denver Post, recently announced it would cut a third of its newsroom staff. John sits down with Noelle Phillips a Denver Post reporter and Vice Chair of the Denver Newspaper Guild to talk about the recent layoffs, the role of journalism in holding our public officials accountable, Sinclair-owned TV stations, and “fake news.” Also, an update from Stephen on the Live and Let Live Bill. Call.... | Read More
17. Live From Lobby Day
https://soundcloud.com/thepurplestatereport/live-from-lobby-day Last week the ACLU of Colorado hosted its annual Lobby Day. Over one hundred community lobbyists came out to defend civil liberties for all Coloradans. We interviewed several people and asked them what brought them to the Capitol. We also have an update from Staff Attorney Arash Jahanian on the class action lawsuit filed against El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder for illegally holding prisoners for ICE. Call To Action: President.... | Read More
ACLU and Counties Reach Settlement for Colorado Man Who Spent 52 days in Jail Waiting to See a Judge
DENVER - The ACLU of Colorado announced a settlement this morning on behalf of Michael Bailey, who was jailed for 52 days awaiting his first appearance before a judge in 2015. Bailey was held in the Teller County Jail without bond on a 4-year-old misdemeanor warrant out of Pueblo County. When he was finally transferred and appeared before the Pueblo County Court, he was immediately released on a personal recognizance bond, and his charges were dismissed soon afterward. While in jail, Bailey lost.... | Read More
Judge Rules El Paso County Sheriff Must Stop Illegally Holding Prisoners for ICE
DENVER – State District Court Judge Eric Bentley has ordered El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder to immediately stop relying on ICE immigration detainers or ICE administrative warrants as grounds for refusing to release ACLU of Colorado plaintiffs from custody when they post bond, complete their sentences, or otherwise resolve their criminal cases. ACLU of Colorado filed a class action lawsuit on February 27 alleging that Sheriff Elder had unlawfully imprisoned dozens of individuals for days,.... | Read More
Episode 16: #SaveCCRD
https://soundcloud.com/thepurplestatereport/saveccrd A few weeks ago three Republicans on the Joint Budget Committee voted to block funding to the Colorado Civil Rights Division, which protects all Coloradans from discrimination in employment, housing and public spaces. Hundreds of Coloradans rallied in support of the CCRD. While the funding is likely secure, some members of the Senate are pushing to change its make-up and reduce or even end its enforcement power. Alejandra sits down with.... | Read More
Bonus Pod: The Right to Rest
https://soundcloud.com/thepurplestatereport/bonus-pod-the-right-to-rest On this bonus pod, John talks with Terese Howard from Denver Homeless Out Loud and Trigg Bundgaard one of the founders of the Coalition for Compassion and Action about the Right to Rest Act, a bill that pushes back on the criminalization of homelessness in Colorado. The Purple State Report is brought to you by the ACLU of Colorado. Our show was produced by Vanessa Michel, John Krieger and Alejandra Garza with original theme.... | Read More