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 Report Highlights Abusive and Unconstitutional Practices in Colorado City Courts
DENVER – Colorado’s more than 200 municipal courts operate without meaningful accountability or oversight, and one court in particular — the Alamosa Municipal Court— systematically violates the constitutional rights of its mainly impoverished criminal defendants, according to a report released today by the ACLU of Colorado. Justice Derailed: A case study of abusive and unconstitutional practices in Colorado city courts is based on a multi-year ACLU investigation which revealed that, despite.... | Read More
ACLU Sues Aurora Police for Ousting Black Man in Hoodie from Coffee Shop
APD Officer: “Your kind of business is not welcome here” DENVER - The ACLU of Colorado filed a federal lawsuit this morning on behalf of Omar Hassan, a black man who was forcibly removed from a coffee shop by two Aurora Police officers who told him, “Your kind of business is not welcome here.” Hassan did nothing more than order a muffin and sit down to eat it when, according to the lawsuit, the two officers singled him out because of his race and, with their hands placed on their.... | Read More
Episode 5: “We were turned away because of who we are.”
https://soundcloud.com/thepurplestatereport/we-were-turned-away Subscribe to our podcast. On today’s episode, Alejandra talks to ACLU clients Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig, a Colorado couple who were turned away by a bakery that refused to sell them a cake to celebrate their wedding. In November, the case will go before the US Supreme Court and the outcome could have wide implications. Dave and Charlie talk about their experience that day, what’s at stake at the Supreme Court, and why its.... | Read More
Episode 4: “I came out of the shadows.”
https://soundcloud.com/thepurplestatereport/episode-4-i-came-out-of-the-shadows Subscribe to our podcast. On today’s episode, Alejandra speaks with Victor Galvan, a DACA recipient who came to the United States as an infant. Earlier this week the Trump administration announced its plan to rescind DACA in six months affecting more than 800,000 young people like Victor. Also, John discusses an ACLU case on behalf of a Colorado man who spent 52 days in jail waiting to see a judge. Call to Action: Tell.... | Read More
ACLU Seeks Compensation for Colorado Man Who Spent 52 Days in Jail Waiting to See a Judge
09/07/17 DENVER – The ACLU of Colorado filed a lawsuit this morning against the Pueblo and Teller County Sheriff’s Offices on behalf of Michael Bailey, who was held in jail for 52 days on a years-old misdemeanor warrant awaiting his first appearance before a judge. The lawsuit, which was filed this morning in federal district court, seeks compensatory and punitive damages. On Sept. 8, 2015, the Teller County Sheriff’s Office arrested Mr. Bailey on a four-year-old misdemeanor warrant.... | Read More
ACLU of Colorado Statement on Termination of DACA
9/5/17 DENVER — The Trump administration today announced the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program. The DACA program has served as a critical lifeline for nearly 800,000 young immigrants, or “Dreamers,” including more than 17,000 here in Colorado, who came to this country as children and know the United States as their only home. The following is a statement from ACLU of Colorado Executive Director Nathan Woodliff-Stanley reacting to the White House.... | Read More