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 of Colorado to Honor Harold Fields, Susan Greene, and Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network as 2017 Civil Rights Award Recipients
DENVER – The ACLU of Colorado is proud to announce that Harold Fields, Susan Greene, and Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network (RMIAN) will receive our 2017 Civil Rights Awards, which will be presented at the Bill of Rights Dinner on Thursday, September 28th at the Four Seasons Hotel in Denver. Harold Fields, lifelong leader of social and racial justice causes, will be honored with the Carle Whitehead Memorial Award. Fields facilitates the Second Tuesday Race Forum, a city-wide monthly racial.... | Read More
Episode 3: “I was part of something that helped my community.”
https://soundcloud.com/thepurplestatereport/episode-3-i-was-part-of-something-that-helped-my-community On today’s episode: In 2012, James Fisher was sentenced to pay $678 in fines for three minor ordinance violations. Over the next four years, while he struggled with homelessness and unsteady work, James made nineteen payments to the Aurora Municipal Court totaling $1,498 and yet still owed $860. James talks about his fight to end debtor’s prisons in Colorado. Also, a special message from.... | Read More
Episode 2: “I put my body on the line.”
https://soundcloud.com/thepurplestatereport/episode-2-i-put-my-body-on-the-line On today’s episode: Alejandra talks with Kalyn Heffernan, AKA Wheelchair Sports Camp, one of the disability rights activists who staged a 60-hour sit-in at Senator Cory Gardner’s office during the healthcare repeal fight. Kalyn and 8 other activists were arrested and spent 30 hours in jail. She shares her personal story in the battle to save healthcare. Also, John discusses a recent victory for free speech and.... | Read More
Aurora Pays $110K for Unlawful Detention and Tasing of Darsean Kelley
Police tased Kelley in the back as he said, “I know my rights” DENVER – The City of Aurora will pay $110,000 to settle claims brought by ACLU of Colorado on behalf of Darsean Kelley, a young Black man who was unlawfully stopped, detained, and tased in the back by Aurora police just as he said “I know my rights.” A video, taken from an officer’s body camera and released by the ACLU last September, gained national attention and accumulated more than 1 million views. “Through constructive,.... | Read More
Episode 1: “I Know My Rights.”
https://soundcloud.com/thepurplestatereport/episode-1-i-know-my-rights On today’s episode: We introduce the Purple State Report and talk to Rebecca Wallace, an ACLU attorney who negotiated a 110K settlement in the Darsean Kelley police excessive force case. Kelley was stopped for no reason, detained, and tased in the back by Aurora Police just as he said “I know my rights.” Wallace explains how the ACLU sought justice and what still needs to be done to hold police in Aurora and around Colorado.... | Read More
ACLU Lawsuit Seeks Life-Saving Treatment for Thousands of Colorado Prisoners Suffering from Hepatitis C
DENVER – The ACLU of Colorado filed a federal class action lawsuit this morning challenging the Colorado Department of Corrections’ systematic denial of life-saving treatment to more than 2,200 prisoners suffering from chronic Hepatitis C. “Colorado has an immense public health crisis in its prisons. At least one in every nine prisoners suffers from Hepatitis C, and complications from the disease kill nearly as many Coloradans in custody every year as drug and alcohol abuse, homicide,.... | Read More