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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 Supports Students’ Right of Religious Freedom

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 7, 2010
CONTACT:  C. Ray Drew, Colorado ACLU Executive Director, 303-777-5482 x105                     Mark Silverstein, Colorado ACLU Legal Director, 303-777-5482 x114

COLORADO SPRINGS –The Colorado Springs Gazette has reported that a local middle school has announced a policy forbidding students from wearing certain Christian symbols to school, unless they are worn underneath clothing.

The ACLU strongly opposes the decision of Colorado Springs School District 11 on the basis of religious liberty.

Mark Silverstein, Legal Director of the ACLU said, “The First Amendment protects the right of students to express their faith by wearing crosses, rosaries, or other religious symbols without interference from school officials. Our Constitution protects the right to individual religious liberty and the ACLU is here to support everyone who chooses to exercise that right.”

“For over 90 years the ACLU has always defended the religious liberty of all Americans. It is one of the most fundamental of our nation’s freedoms,” said ACLU Executive Director Ray Drew.

According to the Gazette, Monsignor Bob Jaeger of the Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs has stated that the church is OK with the school’s position and Colorado Springs School District 11spokesperson Elaine Naleski states that this policy is necessary to prevent the use of crosses and rosaries as gang symbols.

For more press coverage on the story, see links below:

ACLU: D-11 Ban Violates Students' Rights

Our View: D-11 Targets Catholics, No One Else

ACLU Rosary Statement – The Colorado Springs Gazette

CO: ACLU Speaks out against D-11 school's rosary rules

ACLU Stands up for the right of Colorado Springs middle schooler to wear rosary at public school



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