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?
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.
Category Archives: News
ACLU of Colorado Cautions Boulder: Stop Mistreating Unhoused Residents
DENVER – ACLU of Colorado sent a letter today to government officials in Boulder, demanding an end to their unconstitutional and inhumane treatment of unhoused Boulder residents. The letter followed an ACLU investigation that found that unhoused residents are denied shelter due to arbitrary residency requirements and unjustly prosecuted for sleeping outdoors even when they have no adequate alternatives. According to the letter, Boulder, “with one hand makes shelter available to only a limited.... | Read More
Federal Court Allows Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit Against Frontier Airlines to Continue
July 15, 2021 DENVER — A federal court yesterday denied Frontier Airlines’ request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by four flight attendants who allege the company discriminates against pregnant and breastfeeding employees. The court’s action allows the class action lawsuit, which is a companion to a related case filed by four Frontier pilots, to move forward. The employees have alleged that Frontier denies accommodations to pregnant or breastfeeding flight attendants that would be given.... | Read More
The U.S. Department of Justice Statement of Interest in our lawsuit against the Douglas County School District
June 25, 2021 The U.S. Department of Justice filed a Statement of Interest in our lawsuit against the Douglas County School District, Douglas County Sheriff, and School Resource Officers for aggressively handcuffing and arresting an 11-year-old child with autism. The Statement reaffirms the DOJ's long-held position that Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to SROs arresting children with disabilities and clarifies that public entities may be liable for the actions of their employees,.... | Read More
Diving in, my Unexpected Year-Long Internship at the ACLU
By Jana Seal A long, uncertain, and pivotal summer predated my time at the ACLU of Colorado. Or rather, four years of collective upheaval did. In 2016, studying as a student journalist and covering the presidential election, I was shocked by the shift of entertainment media to news and politics. For the first time in modern history, American culture revolved around public servants as moguls and policy as gossip column fodder. On top of this, an abundance of uninformed opinions in conjunction.... | Read More
ACLU of Colorado Announces Launch of Statewide Justice Initiative
June 22, 2021 Seguido en Español. DENVER – Today, ACLU of Colorado announced the launch of Expanding the Table for Justice (ETFJ), a statewide initiative and 60-day community listening tour. The ETFJ mission is to connect with Colorado advocacy groups, anointed and appointed leaders, and everyday individuals to learn about their work, how they view the work of the ACLU, and how ACLU of Colorado may better support and engage community on the civil liberties issues that matter most. ACLU of Colorado.... | Read More
Defending Speech We Hate
The record demonstrates the ACLU’s unwavering commitment to First Amendment rights for all. David Cole, ACLU Legal Director June 6, 2021 Has the ACLU lost its way? This appears to be a perennial question. In 1994, then-ACLU President Nadine Strossen wrote a 17-page article with 54 footnotes, responding to the charge that the organization “is abandoning its traditional commitment to free speech and other classic civil liberties and is becoming a ‘trendy’ liberal organization primarily.... | Read More
ACLU Sues Aurora, Prior Convictions Shouldn’t Prohibit People From Running for Office
May 27, 2021 DENVER – Today, ACLU of Colorado sued the City of Aurora for blocking a candidate with a prior felony conviction from running for public office. Candice Bailey, an Aurora resident and community leader for racial justice, intends to run for an at-large position on the Aurora City Council in the November 2021 municipal election. But the Aurora City Charter and City Code forbid her from being a candidate or holding public office solely based on her past conviction. “A city has.... | Read More
ACLU of Colorado Calls on Biden Administration to Provide Vaccine Access to All Immigrants Detained at Aurora ICE Processing Center
ICE’s Lack of a Plan Puts People in Detention and Surrounding Communities at Risk May 27, 2021 DENVER, CO. — The ACLU of Colorado sent a letter today to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Field Office Director John Fabbricatore demanding that he provide vaccine access to the 563 people in detention at the Aurora ICE Processing Center. The American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.... | Read More
ACLU Sues Mesa County Judge, Sheriffs Who Caused Boulder Woman 15 Days in Jail Without Opportunity for Pretrial Release
April 27, 2021 DENVER – In a filing this morning in federal district court, ACLU lawyers sued the Chief Judge in Mesa County, Brian Flynn, as well as Mesa County Sheriff Matt Lewis and Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle. The complaint alleges that the three defendants are responsible for unnecessarily and unjustifiably causing the ACLU’s client, Michelle Reynolds, to spend fifteen harrowing days locked up in jail with no opportunity to post bond and obtain pretrial release. “People who.... | Read More
Support SB21-062: The status quo is killing us
You might know Michael Marshall as the mentally ill, homeless man killed by sheriff’s deputies in the Denver jail, but to me he was Uncle Mike. Son of John Marshall and Hattie Lee Black-Marshall, Uncle Mike was a loving man, willing to do what he could for his family and other people experiencing homelessness. He had a contagious laugh and presence that brought joy at holidays and Sunday dinners. Because he lived with schizophrenia and the stigma that goes along with mental illness and poverty,.... | Read More
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