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.
Episode 14: The Right to Rest
https://soundcloud.com/thepurplestatereport/the-right-to-rest On this episode, John sits down with State Representative Joe Salazar a sponsor of the Right to Rest Act, a bill that pushes back on the criminalization of homelessness. Also, Staff Attorney Arash Jahanian brings us the story of Audemio Orozco-Ramirez, an immigrant facing deportation, and others like him who are being targeted by Trump’s cruel deportation agenda. Read “ICE’s modern-day reign of terror”: http://www.coloradoindependent.com/168497/guest-post-ices-modern-day-reign-of-terror Call.... | Read More
ICE’s Modern-day Reign of Terror
As Donald Trump read his State of the Union address, offering DACA recipients as a bargaining chip for his wall, along with stingier limits on legal immigration and funding for a more vicious immigration enforcement regime, a victim of that regime, Audemio Orozco-Ramirez, sat in the for-profit GEO detention facility in Aurora, Colorado, facing imminent deportation. Audemio has a wife and seven children in Vida, Montana, where he has worked as a ranch hand and lived for 20 years. Six of his children,.... | Read More
Episode 13: Reproductive Justice in the Age of Trump
https://soundcloud.com/thepurplestatereport/reproductive-justice Subscribe to our podcast. This week marked the second annual Women’s March and the 45th anniversary of Roe V. Wade. The ACLU of Colorado invited four women to discuss the state of reproductive rights and reproductive justice in the age of Trump. Also, ACLU of Colorado Public Policy Director Denise Maes discusses three bills in the Colorado legislature that threaten reproductive healthcare. Call to Action: Take 60 seconds and.... | Read More
ACLU Comment on DOJ Threat to Denver over Immigration Enforcement
DENVER — The Department of Justice today issued letters to 23 jurisdictions, including Denver, demanding documents and threatening subpoenas over these localities’ supposed non-compliance with a federal law that addresses information sharing between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities. ACLU of Colorado Legal Director Mark Silverstein issued the following statement: “Attorney General Jeff Sessions is engaged in a malicious campaign of threats and intimidation to break.... | Read More
Episode 12: “What goes on under the dome.”
https://soundcloud.com/thepurplestatereport/what-goes-on-under-the-dome Subscribe to our podcast. On today’s episode, today is the first day of the Colorado state legislative session. The ACLU is always extremely active at the legislature and has some big plans for 2018. John sits down with Denise Maes, ACLU of Colorado Public Policy Director, to preview this year’s top priorities. Also, a news update from ACLU of Colorado staff attorney Arash Jahanian on the recent death of an Iranian man.... | Read More
UPDATE: “We were turned away because of who we are.”
https://soundcloud.com/thepurplestatereport/update-we-were-turned-away Subscribe to our podcast. On today’s episode, we go back to an interview with Alejandra and ACLU clients Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig, the Colorado couple who were turned away by a bakery that refused to sell them a cake to celebrate their wedding. This past December, the case went before the US Supreme Court. ACLU of Colorado Staff Attorney, Sara Neel, provides insight on the Supreme Court oral arguments. Call.... | Read More