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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 Urges Roaring Fork School Board to Stop School Resource Officers from Collaborating with ICE

In a letter sent today, the ACLU of Colorado urged the Roaring Fork School Board to adopt a policy prohibiting the current practice of School Resource Officers (SROs) collaborating with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

SROs are employed by local police departments to work in schools to promote school safety and build stronger relationships between law enforcement, students and the local community. According to press accounts, one or more SROs working within the Roaring Fork School District have been directly collaborating with ICE. This collaboration threatens the sense of safety and security that students – whether documented or undocumented – have a right to feel in public school.

“All children, documented or otherwise, have a right to attend public school in this country," said ACLU Staff Attorney Rebecca T. Wallace. "When School Resource Officers participate in home raids with ICE that lead to the deportation of mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and friends of students, undocumented students are understandably discouraged from attending school. These students may reasonably fear that the SRO will use his position to gather information that will lead to deportation of the students or their relatives. Yet, one or more SROs within the Roaring Fork School District have participated in exactly these kinds of raids that stoke these reasonable fears. This practice must end.”

According to the ACLU’s letter, federal law prohibits schools from erecting barriers that discourage undocumented children from attending public school. In Plyler v. Doe, decided in 1982, the United States Supreme Court held that undocumented children in this country have the same right to a public education as citizens and other legal residents. The Court reasoned that denying an education to undocumented children who may be in this country for the rest of their lives “den[ies] them the ability to live within the structure of our civic institutions, and foreclose[s] any realistic possibility they will contribute to even the smallest way to the progress of our nation.”



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