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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 Demands Colorado State University Amend Policing Practices Following Racial Profiling of Two Young Native American Men

DENVER – The American Civil Liberties Union sent a demand letter today to Colorado State University urging the university to amend its campus police policies and training requirements following a racial profiling incident this spring.

On April 30, 2018, Kanewakeron Thomas Gray and Skanahwati Lloyd Gray, two Native American brothers touring Colorado State University, were racially profiled by another member of the admissions tour. Employees of the CSU police department detained, questioned and searched the Grays although they were never suspected of a specific crime. The brazen violation of the Grays’ Constitutional rights was rooted in the report of suspicion based only on their appearance.

“My boys were publicly humiliated and told that their looks alone make them suspicious characters. As a mother, I was horrified to hear they were pulled away from a CSU tour because of someone’s misplaced and racially motivated fears,” said Lorraine Kahneratokwas Gray, whose family is represented by the ACLU. “We are all disappointed, not only with CSU’s meager response, but also with their false promises to right this wrong. I hope they fix these policies, so other parents do not have to wonder if their children will be safe and welcomed on campus.”

The ACLU urges the CSU police department to implement additional trainings and adopt specific policies addressing dispatcher and officer responses to bias-based reports.

In response to the rampant cases of racial profiling on college campuses, including college staff calling police on a Smith College student for sitting on a sofa on campus, the ACLU is expanding upon its policy recommendations to CSU and plans to launch a full-scale ‘Living While Black on Campus” campaign. The campaign will be geared towards campuses that operate their own police and security forces, providing model policies for administrators and toolkits and resources for students who wish to advocate for change.

Read the ACLU letter: https://aclu-co.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/9_20_18-CSU-letter-re-Gray-brothers.pdf



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