Both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Colorado Supreme Court have ruled that individuals can't be jailed because they're too poor to pay fines. But the ACLU of Colorado maintains that at least three local communities, and possibly a lot more, routinely do so. The organization has written the towns as ... More >>
At last night's Denver City Council meeting, members heard public comment about an amendment to the community's pot ordinance that would outlaw smoking pot on one's front porch or balcony. But despite plenty of vocal opposition among the 26 people who spoke, the council voted 7-5 to approve the mea ... More >>
Earlier this year, according to the ACLU of Colorado, a Castle Rock cop fired several shots from a semi-automatic rifle -- and while he didn't hit the apparently unarmed suspect targeted, he did manage to strike the tire of a car occupied by two locals. The couple want records about the investigati ... More >>
Yesterday, the Denver City Council's Amendment 64 committee considered proposed marijuana ordinance amendments that include what critics have branded a "sniff test." The city makes its case via several new documents shared below -- including one that includes a photo of Moe from The Simpsons showing ... More >>
Rules against sex offenders living near schools or other places children congregate are generally popular. But a U.S. District Court judge has ruled that regulations put in place by the City of Englewood are so restrictive that they effectively ban such people from living in the community, and are t ... More >>
Last week, attorney David Lane, representing High Times and other publications, sued the state over a new marijuana-law provision that treats pot magazines like porn. Days later, the ACLU filed its own suit against the passage on behalf of newsstands and booksellers such as the Tattered Cover. Both ... More >>
Last week, we told you about a lawsuit filed by several pot publications over a portion of a newly signed law that essentially treats marijuana magazines like porn. Now, this portion of the statute has attracted another suit, which tackles the issue from a different angle. The plaintiffs this time ... More >>
Colorado Springs is trying to clean up its downtown by banning panhandling and soliciting, but there's one problem with that plan: The ordinance would violate the First Amendment -- at least according to the American Civil Liberties Union. And in the first major ruling on that issue, a federal distr ... More >>
Last week, we reported on a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union against Colorado Springs, which is pushing forward with a controversial anti-panhandling law that critics see as violating free-speech rights. The city says it won't start enforcement for a few weeks, but will begin educatio ... More >>
In what's called an effort to support the economic vitality of downtown Colorado Springs and stop panhandling, the city passed an ordinance this week that bans solicitation. But the law is so broad that it violates the First Amendment. At least that's the interpretation of the American Civil Liberti ... More >>
A recent push by state prison officials to crack down on the sexual content of inmates' mail has greatly expanded the range of books and magazines intercepted by prison censors, including such staid fare as Rolling Stone and Men's Health. The move has also prompted complaints from inmates' loved one ... More >>
In defending CU Boulder's decision to close Norlin Quad and ban visitors on 4/20, Chancellor Philip DiStefano claims the event is a party, not a protest -- an assertion echoed by the institution's spokesperson. But Mark Silverstein, legal director for the Colorado ACLU scoffs at this argument even a ... More >>
This morning, the ACLU of Colorado requested a formal investigation of the Denver Police Department's conduct with Occupy Denver during the past six and a half months. The complaint, delivered to Police Chief Robert White and the Office of the Independent Monitor, cites both First Amendment freedoms ... More >>
As witnessed by a Westword item from October, Mayor Michael Hancock and Denver's business and outreach communities have spent months discussing and debating a push to ban overnight camping on public property. Now that the issue is reportedly scheduled to be addressed in a City Council committee meet ... More >>
In 2003, Greeley Police officers arrived at the home that then-UNC student Tom Mink shared with his mom, confiscating his computer and more because of complaints about his portrayal of professor Junius Peake as "Junius Puke" in his fledgling Internet publication, The Howling Pig. Eight years and a ... More >>
Update below: On the same day Denver Manager of Safety Alex Martinez met with Westword, his office cleared eight cops in a July incident at the Denver Zoo during which Alonzo Ashley died. The decision summary contradicts the account offered by Ashley's loved ones in virtually every respect.
The December news that Richard Rosenthal, Denver's Independent Monitor, would be leaving the post for a similar job in British Columbia, was greeted with enthusiasm by some law-enforcement types, who saw him as anti-cop. And their delight wasn't tempered by his office's final scathing report, on vie ... More >>
"Junius Puke."Update: Yesterday marked exactly eight years since officers in Greeley arrived at the home then-UNC student Tom Mink shared with his mom, confiscating his computer and more because of complaints about the way he'd portrayed a professor in his fledgling Internet publication, The ... More >>
FlickrUpdate: At a meeting last night, the Denver City Council approved a $30,000 payment to settle a lawsuit over alleged Denver Police racial profiling. Equally important, says the ACLU's Mark Silverstein, is a DPD agreement to improve training to try to prevent such incidents in the future ... More >>
One week after the Colorado ACLU launched an investigation into the constitutionality of police action at Occupy Denver, the group has yet to receive the records it requested from the Denver Police Department and the Colorado State Patrol. In the meantime, the ACLU is researching a secondary ... More >>
Phillip Becerra.Colorado ACLU communications director Rosemary Harris Lytle confirms her organization has launched an investigation of "an escalation of police force" at Occupy Denver -- like, for example, the shooting of Phillip Becarra, seen here, with pepper bullets. The ACLU has expressed ... More >>
Alonzo Ashley.The decision by Denver DA Mitch Morrissey not to charge anyone in the case of Alonzo Ashley, who died at the Denver Zoo after an incident involving police, has already stirred controversy. But the ACLU of Colorado also believes it raises doubts about police training regarding Ta ... More >>
Ken Buck.In 2008, the Weld County Sheriff's Office raided Amalia's Translation and Tax Service in Greeley as part of Operations Numbers Game, an effort to bust identity thieves who were also undocumented immigrants. The ACLU filed suit over the action -- and this week, Weld District Attorney/ ... More >>
FlickrDespite the firing of officers involved in the Michael DeHerrera beating, the Denver Police Department continues to be a criticism target. The latest example: an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit (read it below) filed on behalf of Jose Sanchez. Among other things, it alleges DPD bi ... More >>
Prisoners in El Paso County got an early Christmas present yesterday, when county officials agreed to stop limiting outgoing inmate mail to just postcards. The ACLU had filed suit against that policy, which the El Paso County Jail adopted this summer, arguing that such restrictions for prison ... More >>
Back in 2005, Leslie Weise and Alex Young were prevented from attending a George W. Bush speech because their car sported a bumper sticker reading "No More Blood for Oil." The two, assisted by the ACLU, have been fighting this expulsion ever since -- but today, they reached the end of the lin ... More >>
In April, Alan Prendergast reported about Sgt. Perry Speelman, one of the defendants in a 2004 racial profiling lawsuit the city settled for $75,000. Tonight, Denver City Council will pay another $24,000 over similar allegations.
Katie Sepich.A new law went into affect in Colorado today that will require anyone arrested for a felony to submit a DNA sample. "Katie's Law" is named after 22-year-old New Mexico State University graduate student, Katie Sepich, who was raped and murdered in 2003. Governor Bill Ritter signed ... More >>
A few months ago we first reported on the "labia lift" -- an extremely invasive search process that the Colorado Department of Corrections has started using at its Denver women's prison. Now the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado has taken notice -- and demanded that the DOC immedia ... More >>
"Junius Puke" in "The Howling Pig."In December 2003, the Ault, Colorado home onetime UNC student Thomas Mink shared with his mom was raided by police. His crime? Satirizing a UNC professor named Junius Peake as "Junius Puke" in his self-published newsletter, The Howling Pig. Thus began a cou ... More >>
On the eve of going to court in its effort to protect internal investigations records of police officers from public scrutiny, the City of Denver has agreed to settle a lawsuit by forking over many of the documents sought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado.
Ted Mink allegedly held a man for over a month without charges.The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal lawsuit against the Jefferson County Sheriff, accusing him of illegally detaining a man for 47 days for the suspicion that he was an illegal immigrant. Sheriff Ted Mink, the ... More >>
A sticker like this one started it all.Yesterday, in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, American Civil Liberties Union attorney Chris Hansen argued on behalf of a lawsuit filed by Leslie Weise and Alex Young, who were prevented by White House personnel from attending a March 2005 town hall ab ... More >>
The mural in question. Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland could hardly be more mainstream. Children of all ages have read it for decade upon decade, Disney made an animated version during the Truman administration, and there'll likely be another burst of interest in the material when directo ... More >>
Signs of recent times.It's been a year since the Democratic National Convention took over this town -- and to mark that anniversary, the Colorado branch of the American Civil Liberties Union has taken two legal actions. In the first, an ACLU lawyer is representing eight people in a suit again ... More >>
Why is the city putting the brakes on the Derailer Bike Collective?
Pen and stink in the Jeffco jail.
Roan and Groan
What's in a name?
Traveling out of DIA continues to be a frisky business.
The DPD's binge-and-purge problem continues.
There's nothing intelligent about the way the DPD kept its spy files.
In the rush to ban sex offenders, cities and counties may inadvertently be creating more of them down the line.
The high price of Denver's drug war: lies, bad busts, cops in harm's way -— and the death of an innocent man.
Leonard's talking off the top of his head. Children, leave the room.
The Denver Police Department regulates what some say it shouldn't even have to think about.
Prison censors' motto: What you don't know can't hurt us.