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 of Colorado to Host Virtual Bill of Rights Event

October 4, 2021

Seguido en Español.

DENVER – ACLU of Colorado will host its annual Bill of Rights event virtually with free registration to members, donors, activists and all interested community members on October 7, 2021, at 6:00 pm MT. This year’s program honors Colorado leaders and commemorates civil rights and civil liberties successes. Hosted by Executive Director Deborah Richardson, who joined the ACLU of Colorado in March 2021, the event will be an opportunity to hear directly from the organization’s accomplished new leader.


“It is a pleasure to be a part of my first Bill of Rights Event as Executive Director of the ACLU of Colorado. The event is our opportunity to gather as a community with those who align with our mission, change-makers, and partners to reflect on the successes of the past year. We are honored to recognize courageous individuals while raising awareness of our collective fight for civil rights and civil liberties,” Richardson said.


The keynote speaker will be Deborah Archer, a prolific civil rights lawyer, scholar, teacher, and the first Black person to lead the National ACLU board of directors. ACLU of Colorado will present Sharletta C. Evans with the Carle Whitehead Memorial Award. The award honors her lifelong commitment to restorative justice and criminal legal reform. Hans Meyer will receive the Edward Sherman Award for his legal work advocating for immigrants’ rights at the intersection of immigration law and the criminal legal system. Finally, Lori Lizarraga, Sonia Gutierrez, and Kristen Aguirre will receive the Larry Tajiri Media Award for their activism fighting discrimination in the newsroom, including bravely challenging 9News Denver station leaders on how they cover issues affecting Latinx people in Colorado and advocating for more equitable representation of Colorado communities of color.


The event will close with a special performance from Ecuadorian pop musician, Neoma, who currently lives in Denver, Colorado. Neoma will be joined on stage by Danny Pauta for an acoustic set of their singles “Young” and “FIXXIÓN.


All funds raised by the event will provide crucial support to sustain and expand ACLU of Colorado’s legal, communication, and education work throughout Colorado. Registration is free and Spanish, ASL, and CART interpretation will be available. At the Freedom League level, the event is sponsored by Susan Stark and Bob Connelly.




WHAT: A virtual fundraising event honoring community leaders, commemorating civil rights and civil liberties successes, and educating our community of donors, activists, and partners.


WHERE: Live stream in English and Spanish via Zoom webinar. Register for the event at:


WHEN: Thursday, October 7 at 6 p.m. MT


WHO: Keynote Speaker: Deborah Archer, ACLU National Board President. Honorees will include: Sharletta C. Evans receiving the Carle Whitehead Memorial Award, Hans Meyer receiving the Edward Sherman Award, Lori Lizarraga, Sonia Gutierrez, and Kristen Aguirre receiving the Larry Tajiri Media Award

Special musical performance by Neoma




All are encouraged to join us for this free event by registering at:


Make a tax-deductible sponsorship donation at:


Make a tax-deductible donation of any size to support the event at:


Please contact Susie Simmons, Development Coordinator, at (303) 402- 3127 or with any questions.



The ACLU of Colorado is the state’s oldest civil rights organization, protecting and defending the civil rights of all Coloradans through litigation, education and advocacy.

Octubre 4, 2021


ACLU de Colorado hospedará el evento virtual de la Declaración de Derechos


DENVER – ACLU de Colorado celebrará su evento anual de la Carta de Derechos de forma virtual con inscripción gratuita para miembros, donantes, activistas y todos los miembros de la comunidad interesados el 7 de octubre de 2021, a las 6:00 pm MT. El programa de este año honra a los líderes de Colorado y conmemora los éxitos de los derechos civiles y las libertades civiles. Presentado por la directora ejecutiva Deborah Richardson, que se unió a la ACLU de Colorado en marzo de 2021, el evento será una oportunidad para escuchar directamente a la nueva y exitosa líder de la organización.


“Es un placer formar parte de mi primer Evento de la Carta de Derechos como directora ejecutiva de la ACLU de Colorado. El evento es nuestra oportunidad de reunirnos como comunidad con aquellos que se alinean con nuestra misión, los que generan el cambio y los socios para reflexionar sobre los éxitos del año pasado. Nos sentimos honrados de reconocer a individuos valientes al tiempo que aumentamos la conciencia de nuestra lucha colectiva por los derechos civiles y las libertades civiles”, dijo Richardson.


La oradora principal será Deborah Archer, una prolífica abogada de derechos civiles, académica, profesora y la primera persona de color en dirigir la junta directiva de la ACLU Nacional. La ACLU de Colorado entregará a Sharletta C. Evans el Premio Memorial Carle Whitehead. El premio honra su compromiso de toda la vida con la justicia reparadora y la reforma legal penal. Hans Meyer recibirá el premio Edward Sherman por su labor jurídica en defensa de los derechos de los inmigrantes en la intersección de la ley de inmigración y el sistema jurídico penal. Por último, Lori Lizarraga, Sonia Gutiérrez y Kristen Aguirre recibirán el Premio Larry Tajiri de los medios de comunicación por su activismo en la lucha contra la discriminación en las salas de noticias, que incluye desafiar con valentía a los líderes de la emisora 9News Denver sobre la forma en que cubren las cuestiones que afectan a las personas Latinx en Colorado y abogar por una representación más equitativa de las comunidades de color de Colorado.


El evento se cerrará con una actuación especial del músico pop ecuatoriana, Neoma, que actualmente vive en Denver, Colorado. A Neoma se le unirá en el escenario Danny Pauta para un set acústico de sus sencillos “Young” y “FIXXIÓN”.


Todos los fondos recaudados por el evento proporcionarán un apoyo crucial para sostener y ampliar el trabajo legal, de comunicación y de educación de la ACLU de Colorado en todo Colorado. La inscripción es gratuita y habrá interpretación en español, subtitulación en tiempo real y lenguaje de señas americano. A nivel de la Liga de la Libertad, el evento está patrocinado por Susan Stark y Bob Connelly.





QUÉ: Un evento virtual de recaudación de fondos que honra a los líderes de la comunidad, conmemora los éxitos de los derechos civiles y las libertades civiles y educa a nuestra comunidad de donantes, activistas y socios.


DONDE: Transmisión en directo en inglés y español a través del webinar de Zoom. Inscríbase en el evento en:


CUANDO: jueves, 7 de octubre 7 at 6 p.m. MT


QUIÉN: Orador Principal: Deborah Archer, presidenta de la junta nacional de la ACLU. Entre los galardonados estarán: Sharletta C. Evans recibiendo el Premio Memorial Carle Whitehead, Hans Meyer recibiendo el Premio Edward Sherman, Lori Lizarraga, Sonia Gutiérrez y Kristen Aguirre recibiendo el Premio Larry Tajiri Media.

Actuación musical especial por parte de Neoma




Se les alienta a todos a unirse a nosotros en este evento gratuito inscribiéndose en:


Haga una donación de patrocinio deducible de impuestos en:


Haga una donación deducible de impuestos de cualquier tamaño para apoyar el evento en:


Por favor, póngase en contacto con Susie Simmons, Coordinadora de Desarrollo, en (303) 402- 3127 o con cualquier pregunta.



ACLU de Colorado es la organización de derechos civiles más antigua del estado, que protege y defiende los derechos civiles de todos los habitantes de Colorado mediante el litigio, la educación y la abogacía.


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