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. 


ACLU Foundation of Colorado Receives Challenge Grant from the Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado


August 31, 2000

American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Colorado (ACLU of Colorado) recently received a challenge grant and event sponsorship in the amount of $13,000 from the Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado. The grant will support on-going legal work and ACLU chapter initiatives in El Paso County.


ACLU of Colorado is a statewide organization dedicated to the preservation of individual freedom and governmental restraint. The goal is to protect and defend the constitutionally guaranteed rights of all Coloradans through litigation, education, advocacy and legislation.

According to Sue Armstrong, Executive Director, "We are very pleased to receive this grant from the Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado. The grant comes at an important time for this organization as we prepare to expand civil liberties activities in El Paso County. We see this grant as an indication that we are on the right track in our commitment to educating and involving the public in civil liberties issues."


"The Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado recognizes that no one's civil rights are protected unless everyone's civil rights are protected," said Jan Brennan, Program Officer at the Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado. "Through their education, advocacy and litigation, the ACLU has proven critical to the defense of individual liberties in Colorado Springs. We are delighted to continue our support for this vital work."

The Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado is a fund of the Gill Foundation, a private philanthropic organization based in Colorado Springs. The Fund provided over $800,000 in 1999 to support quality community programs in Colorado Springs and throughout the state. For funding guidelines from the Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado, please call 719-473-4455 or 800-964-5643.

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