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.
Douglas County School Board Votes to End Unconstitutional Voucher Program
DENVER - The Douglas County School Board voted Monday night to end the district’s controversial “Choice Scholarship” Program, which the Colorado Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional in June 2015. The ACLU of Colorado with other partners, including Americans United for Separation of Church and State and Taxpayers for Public Education, a Douglas County education advocacy group, challenged the voucher program in 2011, highlighting the Colorado Constitution’s “specific prohibition” on government.... | Read More
Episode 10: “Why I love the ACLU.”
https://soundcloud.com/thepurplestatereport/why-i-love-the-aclu Subscribe to our podcast. On today’s episode, we hear from three individuals on why the ACLU is important to them. We begin with John’s interview with Gwen Young, a former board member of the ACLU of Colorado and a long-time supporter. Alejandra sits down with Nathan Woodliff-Stanley, Executive Director of the ACLU of Colorado, and we hear from Emma, one of our youngest volunteers. Call to Action: Colorado Gives Day is December.... | Read More
Colorado Removes Unlawful Restrictions on Hepatitis C Treatment for Thousands of Medicaid Patients
DENVER -The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF), which administers the state’s Medicaid program, announced today that it will remove the restriction on providing Hepatitis C medications that has been at the center of an ACLU of Colorado class action lawsuit against the agency. This change means that thousands of Colorado Medicaid recipients infected with the HCV virus will soon be eligible to receive the newer direct-acting antiviral (DAA) medications that have a greater.... | Read More
Episode 9: “We were in the wilderness and y’all heard our voice.”
https://soundcloud.com/thepurplestatereport/we-were-in-the-wilderness Subscribe to our podcast. On today's episode, Judge Powell of the Alamosa Municipal Court violated civil rights and punished defendants for their poverty. He used jail, and the threat of jail, to collect money from defendants who could not pay, in violation of state law. We shined a light on his unjust practices in the investigative report, Justice Derailed. John sits down with an author of this report, Becca Curry, Research.... | Read More
ACLU and Longmont Reach $210K Settlement over Warrantless Searches
DENVER - The ACLU of Colorado and the City of Longmont jointly announced a settlement this morning on behalf of four individuals, Alice Boatner, Billy Sparling, Michael Kealy, and Christine Herrera, who were subjected to an illegal search of their residences at the Suites, a public housing complex in Longmont. The searches were conducted in May by Longmont police officers and a K-9, in conjunction with the Longmont Housing Authority. They were conducted without a warrant or any arguable exception.... | Read More
ACLU Lawsuit: Aurora Police Used Excessive Force during Unlawful Arrest of Disabled 60 Year-Old Black Man
DENVER - The ACLU of Colorado filed a federal lawsuit this morning on behalf of Dwight Crews, a disabled black man who was removed from his home without a warrant in the middle of the night, restrained, forced to the ground, and unlawfully arrested by Aurora police. “The Constitution forbids police from intruding into the privacy of a person’s home unless they have a warrant issued by a judge,” said ACLU of Colorado Legal Director Mark Silverstein. “In this case, police had no warrant,.... | Read More