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 Wins Major Victory in Longstanding Defense of Student Journalist

CONTACT:  Mark Silverstein, ACLU Legal Director, 303-777-5482 x114
 
Issuing a decision in a longstanding ACLU case, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that a Weld County assistant prosecutor can be held legally responsible for an illegal search of the home of Thomas Mink and the illegal seizure of his computer. The search was carried out pursuant to a warrant issued in late 2003 as part of a Greeley Police Department investigation of supposed “criminal libel” for Mink’s role in publishing “The Howling Pig,” an online publication featuring satiric commentary on issues of public concern to the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) community.
 
The investigation and the warrant were based solely on the first three issues of “The Howling Pig.”   The prosecutor, Susan Knox, reviewed the publications, the application for search warrant, and the draft of the warrant itself.  Although Knox did not personally participate in the illegal search, the court held that her approval of the warrant application set the illegal search in motion.
 
 “Today’s decision is a major victory for the protection of free expression and the protection of the public from unreasonable searches and seizures,” said Mark Silverstein, ACLU Legal Director.  “The court held that our client’s publication was clearly protected by the First Amendment and that no reasonable prosecutor could have believed otherwise.  The court also held that no reasonable prosecutor could have believed that the search warrant—which authorized seizure of any and all papers in the home—was specific enough to comply with the Fourth Amendment.”
 
ACLU filed the lawsuit in early 2004 and quickly obtained a restraining order forbidding the threatened “criminal libel” prosecution and securing the return of Mr. Mink’s computer.  The ACLU also sought an order declaring the “criminal libel” statute unconstitutional, but the Tenth Circuit, in a 2007 ruling, held that Mr. Mink could not challenge the statute because he was no longer threatened with prosecution.  Today’s ruling, on the case’s second trip to the federal court of appeals, held that Ms. Knox is not entitled to invoke the defense of “qualified immunity.” 
  
In addition to Silverstein, Mink is represented by ACLU Cooperating Attorneys Marcy Glenn and Bruce Jones, of Holland & Hart.
 
Case information and court documents available here.
 
 
About the ACLU of Colorado
The ACLU is a nationwide, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to defending and preserving the principles of the Bill of Rights through litigation, advocacy and public education.  The ACLU Foundation of Colorado works to protect the rights of all Coloradans.


Return to News