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  • 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: acluco.org/redemption. 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 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. 

ACLU DECLARES VICTORY IN CHALLENGE TO COLORADO “ANTI-PROFANITY” REGULATION

ACLU Declares Victory in Challenge to Colorado "Anti-profanity" Regulation

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 6, 2000

The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado (ACLU) declared victory today in a free speech case when it announced that the State of Colorado has agreed to stop enforcing a regulation that forbids owners of bars and restaurants from "permitting profanity" on their premises.

 

The ACLU challenged the regulation in a lawsuit filed last September on behalf of Leonard L. Carlo, owner of Leonard’s Bar II in Colorado Springs. The suit charged that the Colorado Division of Liquor Enforcement violated Carlo’s constitutional rights when it relied on the anti-profanity regulation as grounds for abruptly confiscating 29 signs that had been on display in Carlo’s bar.

 

Less than a week after the ACLU filed suit, the Division of Liquor Enforcement countered by filing an administrative charge seeking to suspend or revoke Carlo’s liquor license for allegedly "permitting profanity." The ACLU then obtained a temporary injunction barring any additional enforcement while the ACLU’s lawsuit was pending.

 

"The State of Colorado has now agreed that it cannot enforce this antiquated and unconstitutional regulation against owners of bars and restaurants," said Steven D. Zansberg of Faegre & Benson, who served as an ACLU volunteer attorney and negotiated the settlement agreement. "The State will dismiss its charge against our client and return the signs it tore down from the walls of Mr. Carlo’s bar. In return, our client will drop his civil rights claim against Colorado officials."

 

"This settlement is a victory for the principle of free expression," said Mark Silverstein, ACLU Legal Director. "The Constitution does not permit government inspectors to monitor private businesses to ensure that the owners express themselves in accordance with government-approved standards of good taste. The First Amendment forbids the State of Colorado from punishing individuals simply for using language that government officials regard as offensive. As the Supreme Court explained many years ago, ‘One man’s vulgarity is another’s lyric.’"



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