Colorado Rights Blog


  • 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: 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

  • 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. 


Boulder ACLU Opposes More School Cameras

January 24, 2001

The Boulder County Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado (ACLU) told the Boulder Valley School District that spending up to $1.5 million for new security cameras in schools is unnecessary, ineffective and a violation of student privacy rights.

"Students are safer at schools than they are in their own communities. There is no justification for adopting prison-style security in schools at the expense of student privacy," said Boulder ACLU vice chair Judd Golden.

The Boulder ACLU presented a "White Paper" to the BVSD at their January 23 meeting titled, "Safety in Schools: Are We on the Right Track?" This document provides:

  •  an overview of the nature and scope of school violence today, which in no way justifies the move toward prison-style security and architecture;
  • a legal analysis of the unwarranted fear of liability for school violence that has in part driven the unprecedented increase in school security measures, and the risks of "zero tolerance" policies;
  • an analysis of many of the most common school violence prevention measures, focusing on surveillance cameras and unanswered legal questions regarding their use; and
  • a summary of more beneficial approaches that respect student privacy and views young people not as potential problems, but as resources in the creation of safe schools.

The Boulder County ACLU urges the BVSD to: declare a moratorium on all new video surveillance in schools; conduct an in-depth review and analysis of the true costs and benefits of existing and future cameras; and enact regulations to control the use of cameras and that punish those that abuse them or unreasonably violate privacy rights.

The ACLU has successfully opposed expansion of government video surveillance nationwide as a violation of basic rights of privacy. The ACLU has nearly 1000 Boulder County members, many of whom have children in Boulder County schools.

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