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.
Recent civil rights losses and violations spur citizens to form Pueblo County ACLU Chapter
Local Puebloans Join Campaign to Demand the Facts Responding to executive abuses of power and general concerns about the loss of civil rights, Pueblo and surrounding area residents are forming a Pueblo County ACLU of Colorado Chapter. Warrantless wiretapping, presidential signing statements and the illegal collection of private phone records by government spies are examples of abuses of power grabbing both national and local attention. More than 100 people packed the Historic Pueblo Union Depot.... | Read More
Pueblo County ACLU Chapter on the move
Pueblo Organizes and Demands Cessation to Governmental Abuses of Power Actively organizing to protect our civil liberties, fired up Pueblo County ACLU of Colorado Chapter hosted its first Annual Members Meeting last night at the Historic Pueblo Union Depot. Nearly 75 people gathered to listen to Lisa Graves, ACLU Senior Counsel for Legislative Strategy in Washington D.C, speak on important issues surrounding constitutionally protected rights, the result of the Patriot Act, and post-9/11.... | Read More
Antiwar sign can stay, Salida says, avoiding federal court faceoff with ACLU attorneys
The City of Salida avoided a federal court battle with ACLU attorneys yesterday, when it withdrew its threat to enforce its sign code against Debra Juchem, a local resident and business owner who erected an antiwar sign on the side of her downtown building. The sign says “Kill one person and it’s MURDER. Kill thousands and it’s FOREIGN POLICY. STOP THE IRAQ WAR NOW!” Several week ago, the City of Salida informed Ms. Juchem that the sign violates the City’s municipal.... | Read More
ACLU lawyers file suit on behalf of innocent woman wrongfully arrested, jailed, and strip searched
Lawyers for the ACLU of Colorado filed suit today on behalf of Mercedes Archuleta, a Thornton mother of nine children with no criminal record whom Lakewood police wrongly and groundlessly listed in a warrant as a suspect in a misdemeanor harassment case. According to the complaint, a state trooper found the erroneous warrant when he stopped Ms. Archuleta’s husband for a minor traffic violation. The officer pulled Ms. Archuleta rudely from her car while she was nursing her baby, handcuffed.... | Read More
ACLU of Colorado applauds California judge
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday that the Stolen Valor Act is unconstitutional because of the limits it places on free speech. The case, U.S. vs. Alvarez, involved a defendant’s false claim that he had won a Congressional Medal of Honor. Under the Stolen Valor Act, which makes it a crime for a person to falsely claim to have been awarded military decorations, his lie is a crime punishable by up to a year in prison. The ACLU of Colorado applauds the ruling. Judge Milan.... | Read More