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.
Alamosa Business Owner may Resume Displaying American Flag Upside Down to Express his Views on Iraq War
The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Colorado (ACLU) announced today that as a result of an agreement with Alamosa city officials, an Alamosa business owner may resume displaying an American flag upside-down in his store window to express his views on the war in Iraq. John Fleming, owner of The Roost, a store which sells books and music on State Street in Alamosa, prompted controversy last month when he displayed the American flag upside down in his store window. According to Fleming,.... | Read More
After ACLU intervention, high school student suspended for off-campus internet posting is back in school
Littleton High School junior Bryan Lopez, who was suspended from Littleton High School for posting satirical commentary about the school on the internet, is now back in school after ACLU attorneys reached an agreement with school district officials on Monday evening. The agreement averted a federal court First Amendment lawsuit that ACLU attorneys were prepared to file on Lopez’s behalf on Tuesday morning. “I am pleased that Littleton school officials were willing to resolve this dispute.... | Read More
Blog post and video with camp residents
Read the blog post and watch the video at Soup Stone Station. | Read More
From the Colorado Springs Gazette: Officers did not violate rights during homeless sweeps
Read Lance Benzel's article about the results of the Colorado Springs Police Department's internal investigation. | Read More
From the Denver Post: ACLU aids inquiry of camp sweeps
Read Alysia Patterson's article about our investigation of the Colorado Springs Police Department. | Read More
Colorado Springs Gazette covers ACLU’s investigation
Read Carlyn Ray Mitchell's article about our investigation and legal advocacy around the destruction of private property of the homeless in Colorado Springs. | Read More