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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. 

Bookstores & Newsstands Challenge Law Violating First Amendment Rights

June 4, 2013

New Colorado law forces retailers to sell magazines focused on marijuana from behind the counter if anyone under 21 is allowed on the premises.

DENVER – Bookstores, newsstands and two bookseller organizations filed suit yesterday to block enforcement of a law that violates the First Amendment rights of retailers to display magazines that focus on marijuana and their customers’ right to browse those publications. The law, which was passed as a provision of the new Retail Marijuana Code, requires store owners that allow anyone under 21 years old on their premises to keep all magazines focused on marijuana or the marijuana business behind the counter.

"Clearly, this is speech protected by the Constitution,” said Joyce Meskis of Tattered Cover Bookstore, one of the plaintiffs in the suit. “It has been sold, borrowed and read by people who have had rightful access to this material for years and years. To limit this speech now would be a travesty. On behalf of the readers we serve, we cannot permit this law to stand without inviting future legislatures to restrict the display of other kinds of books and magazines.”

“When government decides it doesn’t like an idea or disagrees with content and then acts to restrict its reach, that is unacceptable censorship,” said ACLU of Colorado Legal Director Mark Silverstein. “Just as the legislature cannot censor magazines, it also cannot require newsstands to hide government-disfavored content behind the counter.”

“The First Amendment bars the government from picking and choosing what information the public may see or browse merely because the legislature thinks it focuses on an undesirable act,” said David Horowitz, Executive Director of Media Coalition. “Otherwise, the legislature could force booksellers to restrict access to books, magazines, and other media that focus on wine, beer, driving or any other activity that is illegal for adults or minors.”

The lawsuit, Tattered Cover v. Brohl, was filed by ACLU of Colorado and Media Coalition, Inc. on behalf of the plaintiffs Tattered Cover Bookstore, Boulder Book Store, Magpies Newsstand in Durango, Book Train in Glenwood Springs, Woody’s Newsstand in Greeley, Al’s Newsstand in Ft. Collins, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, and Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association.

The parties are represented by Media Coalition general counsel Michael Bamberger and Richard Zuckerman of the New York office of Dentons US LLP, and by ACLU lawyers Silverstein, Staff Attorney Sara Rich, and ACLU Cooperating Attorneys Chris Beall, Steven Zansberg, and Tom Kelley of Levine Sullivan Koch and Schulz LLP.


Read more about the case here.


Access the complaint here.



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