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 Asks Denver Police Internal Affairs to Re-open Investigation Into Racial Profiling Incident
Today the ACLU of Colorado asked the Denver Police Department's Internal Affairs Bureau to re-open its investigation into two African-American citizens’ complaints of racial profiling arising from a traffic stop on February 13, 2009. Read the ACLU's letter to the IAB here. The DPD concluded the complaint was “not substantiated,” but a Denver County Court Judge who heard testimony about the incident reached the opposite conclusion. After a bench trial, the court dismissed.... | Read More
New documents confirm that FBI
Releasing new documents obtained from the FBI under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Legal Director of the Colorado ACLU, Mark Silverstein, said today that the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) wastes resources and threatens First Amendment rights by wrongfully equating nonviolent protest with domestic terrorism. “These documents confirm that the names and license plate numbers of several dozen peaceful protesters who committed no crime are now in a JTTF file marked ‘counterterrorism,’”.... | Read More
New documents confirm that FBI
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Colorado released new documents today that it says confirm that the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) is inappropriately treating peaceful protest as potential terrorism. The ACLU obtained the documents in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed last December on behalf of sixteen organizations and ten individuals. The files released today concern the Colorado American Indian Movement and the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center..... | Read More
New documents confirm: FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force targets peaceful activists for harassment, political surveillance
The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado released documents today that it says confirm that the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in Denver is targeting peaceful political activists for harassment and building files on constitutionally-protected political activities and associations that have nothing to do with terrorism or other criminal activity. The documents are the first FBI responses to a formal request that the Colorado ACLU filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).... | Read More
ACLU Launches Nationwide Effort to Expose Illegal FBI Spying on Political and Religious Groups
Read the full post at www.aclu.org. | Read More