Aurora ICE Warden Johnny Choate confronted at his home
Aurora, CO – Immigrant rights groups from the greater Denver area came together on September 19 to confront Johnny Choate, the warden of Aurora’s notorious ICE detention facility, at his Aurora home.
Over the past several years, the Aurora detention facility, operated by private prison giant GEO and which many liken to a concentration camp, has become notorious for human rights abuses. There have been at least two recorded deaths as well as cases of denial of proper medication and poor medical treatment. Other practices include cover-ups and torture via solitary confinement of trans, gay and mentally ill detainees.
This jail was also one of four detention facilities nationwide that was recently reprimanded by Trump's own Department of Homeland Security for human rights abuses. Choate, as warden of the GEO ICE Detention Center, is responsible for medical neglect, forced labor and overcrowding, which contribute to making big profits for his employer, the notorious GEO Group.
At least 200 protesters, including members from Abolish ICE Denver, Denver Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), and the Colorado People’s Alliance, gathered at the Tollgate Crossing Community Center in Aurora. From there, they marched to Choate’s residence, holding signs reading “Abolish ICE” and “Johnny Choate, there’s blood on your hands!” Protesters also chanted “Never again is right now!” and “No one is illegal, power to the people!” Once at Choate’s residence, protesters continued marching and chanting, despite intimidation from police. Protesters also canvassed the neighborhood to inform the locals of the human rights abuser living in their own neighborhood.
Although there was a small group of right-wing counter-protesters present at Choate’s home to defend these unjust and illegal practices. The marchers chanted “No ICE, no KKK, no fascist USA!” against them. The counter-protesters were ultimately silenced.
“Our community came together today to show that we will not be silent in the face of injustice,” said Kyle Burroughs of SDS. “We want to let Choate and others like him know that they can’t go home and have a nice dinner with their families while there’s families being torn apart under their watch.''
The protesters marched back to the community center and ended the action around 9 p.m.