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.
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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 SUES DENVER POLICE DEPARTMENT FOR DISCLOSURE OF INVESTIGATION INTO CITIZEN’S ALLEGATION OF RACIAL PROFILING
ACLU Sues Denver Police Department for Disclosure of Investigation into Citizen’s Allegation of Racial Profiling FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 28, 2004 The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado (ACLU) filed suit today against the Denver Police Department (DPD) seeking disclosure of the records of an internal investigation into allegations that Denver police officers engaged in racial profiling, harassment, and used excessive force in an encounter with an African American.... | Read More
ACLU NAMES COLORADO ATTORNEY GENERAL AS DEFENDANT IN CHALLENGE TO CRIMINAL LIBEL STATUE AND SETTLES CLAIMS AGAINST CITY OF GREELEY
ACLU Names Colorado Attorney General as Defendant in Challenge to Criminal Libel Statute and Settles Claims Against City of Greeley FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 19, 2004 The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Colorado (ACLU) announced today that it has added Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar, the state’s chief legal officer, as a defendant in a lawsuit filed last month that asks a federal court to declare Colorado’s criminal libel statute unconstitutional. The ACLU also.... | Read More
ACLU FILES FIRST AMENDMENT SUIT OVER “SECURITY ZONE” AT NATO CONFERENCE
ACLU Files First Amendment Suit Over “Security Zone” at NATO Conference FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 15, 2004 The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Colorado (ACLU) filed suit today against the City of Colorado Springs, asserting that city officials violated the First Amendment when they denied a request from six peace and justice activists that they be permitted to hold signs on the public sidewalk across from the Broadmoor Hotel for one hour during the NATO.... | Read More
ACLU CHARGES UNNECESSARY FORCE AND TORTURE IN LETTER SUMMARIZING COMPLAINS ABOUT COLORADO LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES ABUSING TASERS AND STUN GUNS
ACLU Charges Unnecessary Force and Torture in Letter Summarizing Complaints about Colorado Law Enforcement Agencies Abusing Tasers and Stun Guns March 16, 2004 Colorado law enforcement agencies have been using electroshock weapons in an abusive and cruel manner that constitutes unnecessary and unreasonable force and in some cases amounts to outright deliberate torture, ACLU of Colorado Legal Director Mark Silverstein asserted in a letter sent yesterday to the Denver Mayor's.... | Read More
ACLU SUES NORTH METRO DRUG TASK FORCE ON BEHALF OF WOMAN FORCED TO STRIP NAKED IN FULL VIEW OF NEIGHBORS
ACLU Sues North Metro Drug Task Force on Behalf of Woman Forced to Strip Naked in Full View of Neighbors FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 12, 2004 The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Colorado (ACLU) announced today that it had filed suit Friday against the North Metro Drug Task Force on behalf of a metro-area woman. The suit alleges that Task Force made her strip naked in the parking lot of her condominium in full view of her neighbors and male law enforcement officers.... | Read More
FEDERAL APPEALS COURT REINSTATES ACLU CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT OVER EL PASO COUNTY JAIL
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 18, 2004 In a ruling announced today, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated a class action lawsuit filed in 2002 on behalf of prisoners with serious mental health needs in the El Paso County Jail in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The ruling reverses a decision issued in 2003 by Federal District Court Judge Richard P. Matsch, who had ruled that the suit could not proceed as a class action. Shortly after that ruling, Judge Matsch dismissed the case, and ACLU attorneys.... | Read More