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 Statement on Nomination of Neil Gorsuch to U.S. Supreme Court
2/1/2017 CONTACT: Gabriela Melendez, 202-715-0826, email@example.com NEW YORK — American Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Anthony D. Romero issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court: “Americans need an independent Supreme Court justice who will defend our hard-won civil rights and civil liberties and stand up to overreaching executive actions. The Supreme Court has a special obligation under our Constitution.... | Read More
ACLU Calls on Denver to End Unconstitutional Park Banishment Program
1/25/17 DENVER – In a letter sent this morning, the ACLU of Colorado demanded that the Denver Parks Department stop enforcement of an unconstitutional and ineffective temporary directive authorizing police to banish people from city parks, without a hearing, conviction, or other due process, based on mere suspicion of illegal drug activity. “Denver’s program of expelling persons from public parks is an end run around constitutional protections,” said ACLU of Colorado Legal Director.... | Read More
Debtors’ Prison Settlement: Aurora Cancels Debt, Withdraws Warrants, and Repays James Fisher for Excessive Payments to Municipal Court
1\23\17 DENVER – The City of Aurora has agreed to cancel hundreds of dollars of debt and reimburse nearly $800 in overpayments that James Fisher made to the Aurora Municipal Court while he attempted to resolve rapidly-ballooning fees that he could not afford to pay, according to a settlement announced today by the ACLU of Colorado. "James Fisher was trapped in a cycle of debt that is all too familiar to thousands of low-income Coloradans ticketed for minor ordinance violations. He made.... | Read More
ACLU to Denver Police: Stop Taking Blankets from Homeless People
DENVER - The ACLU of Colorado sent a letter to Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and the Denver City Council today responding to widely-circulated videos (video1, video2) showing Denver Police taking blankets, tents, and survival gear from people experiencing homelessness as “evidence” of violations of the Denver camping ban, which criminalizes sleeping outside with a blanket, sleeping bag, or any other form of cover or shelter. The letter demands that the City immediately (1) direct its police.... | Read More
ACLU of Colorado Hosts Open House for New Volunteers
Last night, we hosted an open house for a room full of volunteers who have signed up to join the ACLU of Colorado since the election. Here's our Executive Director explaining how the tremendous outpouring of support over the last month gives us hope for the fight ahead. Sign up to volunteer with the ACLU of Colorado at: https://aclu-co.org/volunteer/ | Read More
ACLU of Colorado Statement on George Brauchler’s Decision to Seek the Death Penalty in the Johnson Case
Statement of ACLU of Colorado Executive Director Nathan Woodliff-Stanley: “The ACLU of Colorado is disappointed by Arapahoe County DA George Brauchler’s decision to pursue the death penalty in yet another case, an outlier decision in direct contradiction to movement across Colorado and the rest of the country away from spending limited resources in the pursuit of death. The death penalty is expensive and arbitrary, and every costly trial perpetuates a broken, racially-biased system that can.... | Read More