Colorado Rights Blog


  • Cedric Watkins is a father, uncle, entrepreneur-in-training, and a vital community pillar for many others. While behind bars, he has tirelessly devoted himself to serving his peers and his community. He developed gang disaffiliation programs for other incarcerated individuals and is currently involved with Defy Ventures. He sends letters and calls his daughter as much as he can.

    Cedric is currently in prison at Sterling Correctional Facility. He was convicted of aggravated robbery, burglary, kidnapping, theft and sentenced to 80 years; no one was seriously injured or killed. For comparison, a person convicted of second-degree murder in Colorado faces a maximum sentence of 48 years. Cedric has already served 20 years and has fully rehabilitated during that time.

    It’s time to bring Cedric home: Redemption is real. Clemency is compassion.

  • 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

  • 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. 

2018 Voter Guide

ACLU Colorado voter guide

The 2018 elections are critical, and we encourage everyone to vote. We do not endorse candidates, but we do take positions on initiatives that impact civil rights and civil liberties.

Click here to download your 2018 Voter Guide.

This year, ACLU of Colorado has taken the following positions on statewide ballot initiatives:

Vote YES on Amendment A to remove slavery from the Colorado constitution: The Colorado constitution currently reads, “There shall never be in this state either slavery or involuntary servitude except as a punishment for a crime.” In other words, slavery is still legal in Colorado. A “yes” vote on Amendment A will remove this language once and for all, and show that slavery is not a Colorado value. Read more from our executive director on Amendment A.

Vote YES on Amendment V to lower the minimum age for representation in the state legislature: Amendment V lowers the minimum age for state representatives and state senators from 25 to 21 years old. Young people deserve a seat at the table not only as advocates and voters but as decision makers. Read more about Amendment V from one of our volunteers, Emma Davis.

Vote YES on Amendments Y&Z to create fairer districts and end gerrymandering: Truly representative democracy demands fair districts that reflect “one person, one vote.” Amendments Y&Z put in place an independent commission to oversee congressional and state redistricting. Amendment Y applies to congressional redistricting and Amendment Z applies to state legislative redistricting.

Finally, the state attorney general election is often overlooked, but the AG’s office is critical for upholding civil liberties and defending our state from federal overreach. To learn more about the main candidates and their views, check out

For information on when, where and how to vote visit

If you’d like to get involved with our Get Out the Vote efforts, including phone banks, text banks, and 3 walk days, contact

Be an ACLU Voter and vote like your rights depend on it.

Click here to download your Voter Guide.

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