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.
Supreme Court Will Hear Masterpiece Cakeshop Discrimination Case
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court today announced it will review a decision from the Colorado Court of Appeals that found that a cake shop discriminated against a same-sex couple by refusing to sell them a wedding cake. In 2012, Colorado residents David Mullins and Charlie Craig visited Masterpiece Cakeshop to order a wedding cake. Mullins and Craig planned to marry in Massachusetts and then celebrate with family and friends back home. Masterpiece owner Jack Phillips informed the couple that,.... | Read More
Colorado Lawmakers Score High Marks on 2017 ACLU of Colorado Legislative Scorecard
DENVER – Following one of the most productive legislative sessions in recent history for civil liberties, lawmakers from both parties received generally high marks on the ACLU of Colorado Legislative Scorecard, which was released this morning. Fifty of Colorado’s 100 lawmakers scored a perfect 100% and 58 scored 80% or higher on the scorecard, which is based on votes on seven bills that were selected as the best representation of the civil liberties issues facing Colorado today. Five bills.... | Read More
ACLU Applauds Governor Hickenlooper for Signing Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform
DENVER – This afternoon, Governor John Hickenlooper signed HB 17-1313, a bill passed by more than three-fourths of the Colorado legislature to rein in civil asset forfeiture and ensure that property seizures in Colorado abide by due process protections in Colorado law. The ACLU of Colorado sent a letter on Tuesday urging the Governor to sign the bill and “not stand in the way of bipartisan reform.” ACLU of Colorado Public Policy Director Denise Maes issued the following statement: “The.... | Read More
ACLU Urges Governor Hickenlooper to Sign Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform
DENVER – In a letter from Public Policy Director Denise Maes, the ACLU of Colorado strongly urged Governor Hickenlooper to sign HB 17-1313, a bill passed by more than three-fourths of the Colorado legislature to rein in civil asset forfeiture and ensure that property seizures in Colorado abide by due process protections in Colorado law. “Civil asset forfeiture reform passed the legislature by a combined vote of 81 to 19. It was supported by Republicans, Democrats, libertarians, progressives.... | Read More
Frontier Airlines Flight Attendants File Discrimination Charges with EEOC
Airline Prohibits Breast Pumping on Duty, Despite 10-Hour Shifts DENVER — The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Colorado, and the law firm Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP today filed discrimination charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of two female Frontier Airlines flight attendants who claim that the company has discriminated against them and other female flight attendants by failing to provide accommodations related to pregnancy and breastfeeding. The.... | Read More
Bill to Reform Youth Corrections Heads to the Governor’s Desk
DENVER – The Colorado Legislature gave final approval last night to HB 1329, a bill to bring systematic change to the Division of Youth Corrections (DYC). HB 1329 will increase transparency within DYC and create a 2-year pilot program focused on treatment and rehabilitation of kids without the use of punitive measures, such as solitary confinement, mechanical restraints, and pain compliance. The Division of Youth Corrections will also be renamed the Division of Youth Services and the.... | Read More