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  • 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?

    ACLU Settles Case With Aurora After Police Brutalize and Unlawfully Arrest Alberto Torres

  • 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.

    Read more about Anthony Martinez and other at-risk incarcerated people. 

  • 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.

    Read more about Ronald Johnson and other at-risk incarcerated people.

State Agrees to Permanently Block Law Restricting Marijuana Magazines

June 10, 2013

Law’s defeat is a victory for First Amendment rights of booksellers, newsstands and their patrons

DENVER – The State of Colorado joined plaintiffs’ attorneys today in asking a federal judge to declare Colorado’s restrictions on marijuana-related magazines unconstitutional and to enter a permanent order blocking their implementation and enforcement.

The joint filing, signed today by both the Attorney General and the bookstores, newsstands and magazine publishers who opposed the restrictions, stipulates that requiring magazines “focusing” on marijuana to be sold from behind the counter violates the First Amendment and the Colorado Constitution.

“We believed strongly that this law violated the First Amendment rights of our customers and feel vindicated by the government agreeing that it is unconstitutional,” said Joyce Meskis of Tattered Cover Book Store, the lead plaintiff in the suit. “The agreement today confirms that the state cannot prosecute booksellers for giving their customers access to material that is fully protected by the Constitution simply because the legislature does not agree with the message.”

A temporary emergency rule issued by the state Department of Revenue on Wednesday had halted implementation of the restrictions, but did not permanently resolve the suit. Today’s filing, once Federal District Judge Richard Matsch signs the order, will ensure once and for all that the restrictions cannot be enforced.

“We commend the state for agreeing to stop this suppression of ideas before it started,” said Mark Silverstein ACLU of Colorado Legal Director. “All people have the right to read and share their ideas free of government interference.”

“This is another important victory for the free speech rights of readers and retailers in Colorado,” said David Horowitz, Executive Director of Media Coalition. “We hope it will remind the legislators in Colorado and all states that they must respect the First Amendment when drafting legislation.”

The lawsuit, Tattered Cover v. Brohl, was filed earlier this week by ACLU of Colorado and Media Coalition, Inc. on behalf of the plaintiffs Tattered Cover Book Store, Boulder Book Store, Magpies Newsstand in Durango, Book Train in Glenwood Springs, Woody’s Newsstand in Greeley, Al’s Newsstand in Ft. Collins, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, and Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association. On Friday it was consolidated with Trans-High Corporation v. Colorado a suit brought by magazine publishers.

The parties in the bookstore and newsstand case were represented by Media Coalition general counsel Michael Bamberger and Richard Zuckerman of the New York office of Dentons US LLP, and by ACLU lawyers Silverstein, Staff Attorney Sara Rich, and ACLU Cooperating Attorneys Chris Beall, Steven Zansberg, and Tom Kelley of Levine Sullivan Koch and Schulz LLP.


Read more about the case here.


Access the complaint here.



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