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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. 

Charges dismissed in case against filmmaker who taped DCSD meeting

April 11, 2013

ACLU wins dismissal of criminal charges wrongfully filed against filmmaker who attempted to tape Douglas County School Board Meeting

DENVER – Douglas County prosecutors dropped criminal charges today against ACLU client Brian Malone, a documentary filmmaker who was charged with “disrupting a lawful assembly” when he attempted to videotape a Douglas County School District (DCSD) meeting last summer.

“This decision reinforces that access to public meetings for the media and general public is a fundamental right that should never be criminalized,” said ACLU of Colorado Legal Director Mark Silverstein.

Mr. Malone was ejected from a DCSD meeting on August 7, 2012, after he placed a video camera tripod in a location that allowed him to capture the faces of the individuals making presentations to the board – the same location where he had been allowed to videotape during several meetings over the previous three months. After a security official objected to the placement of the camera, Malone was removed from the meeting, issued a citation, and told that he could no longer attend any future school board meetings.

The school district lifted its order prohibiting Malone from attending meetings following a letter sent by the ACLU of Colorado on Malone’s behalf. Malone was defended in the criminal case by ACLU cooperating attorneys Daniel Recht, of Recht and Kornfeld, and Steve Zansberg, of Levine, Sullivan, Koch, &Schulz.

“Brian is a filmmaker whose only goal was to capture the dealings of a publicly-elected body so that they could be better known by the public,” said Recht, “They had no right to remove him and definitely no right to charge him with a crime.”

Prosecutors dropped the charges before the Douglas County court was able to rule on a motion to dismiss filed by ACLU attorneys earlier this week. In the motion, Malone’s attorneys argued that the prosecution could not prove that his conduct caused a significant disruption and also that the DCSD’s restrictions on Malone’s newsgathering activities were “overbroad and unjustified restrictions on First Amendment-protected conduct.”

According to a report by Our Colorado News, since 2007, the Douglas County School Board has more than doubled its use of secretive “executive sessions” and dramatically limited the amount of time it spends in public session. “Given these developments,” Zansberg said, “it is particularly important that journalists like Malone not be prevented from reporting on the business and conduct of the board, including the faces of the public when they do have the rare opportunity to address board members.”



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