Tweets

Colorado Rights Blog

Videos

  • 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 Will Defend Colorado Man Arrested For Giving Trooper The Finger

The ACLU of Colorado announced today that it will provide free criminal defense services to Shane Boor, a 35-year-old Colorado man with no criminal record who faces criminal prosecution and a jail sentence for displaying his middle finger to an officer of the Colorado State Patrol.

UPDATE: After 24 hours of tremendous media coverage, on Friday, May 27, the Colorado State Patrol decided to ask Jefferson County prosecutors to drop the charge of harrassment against Shane Boor.

“Our client engaged in peaceful, silent symbolic expression that is protected by First Amendment,” said Mark Silverstein, ACLU Legal Director. “The protection of the Constitution is not limited to speech that is acceptable in polite society. The First Amendment also protects expression that may be disrespectful, coarse or even vulgar. It’s rude to flip off a cop, but it’s not a crime.”

In April, Mr. Boor was driving to a work site in Jefferson County when he saw a state trooper pull over a car. As he passed by, Mr. Boor extended his middle finger in the trooper’s direction, a gesture that quietly expressed Mr. Boor’s disapproval of what he regarded as unjustified harassment by members of the trooper’s profession.

Soon after Mr. Boor arrived at his work site, another trooper arrived and questioned Boor about the hand gesture. Boor then received a criminal summons ordering him to appear in Jefferson County Court to answer a criminal charge of “harassment.” The charge carries a possible penalty of six months in jail.

“We will urge the DA’s office to dismiss this unjustified criminal case and we are confident they will,” said Dan Recht, an ACLU Cooperating Attorney who formally entered his appearance in Jefferson County Court to defend Mr. Boor. “The police obviously need better training concerning our country’s time-honored constitutional right to free expression. Their training must teach them to shrug off insults and disrespectful comments from the public. In essence, they need to develop a thicker skin so that our constitutional rights prevail.”



Return to News