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. 

CU Law School

The ACLU works daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Our job is to conserve America’s original civic values – the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The law school chapter focuses on issues related to the campus and often brings in speakers to better educate students and faculty.

For any student that wishes to get involved with the ACLU, he or she may come to any of our events and learn more about pertinent issues involving our civil liberties in a real, tangible context. Our primary function is to encourage the open debate of how our constitutional rights can come under attack and the steps we can take to protect them. Ongoing relations with ACLU lawyers in the area often provide a wide array of both volunteering and networking opportunities. Additionally, if any student feels that there is a current civil liberty issue worthy of attention, he may contact any of the ACLU officers and we will be happy to coordinate efforts to bring the issue to the foreground of public debate and take affirmative action wherever there is a considerable student interest.

In a purely social context, all events organized by the ACLU encourage the participation of any student who enjoys having a good time and getting to know fellow law students outside of class.

Past Activities

  • Sponsorship of a scholarship for students doing public interest work
  • Working with the Colorado Democratic Party as Poll Watchers during the 2004 Presidential Election
  • Sponsorship of a number of speaking events, including:
  • A lecture outlining the controversy surrounding Professor Ward Churchill
  • A lecture describing efforts at tort reform
  • A lecture by Attorney Frank Lindh discussing his son, John Walker Lindh, and his case.
  • A lecture by Attorney David Lane, regarding former CU Professor Ward Churchill’s First Amendment claim ,li> A lecture by US District Court Judge John L. Kane concerning the increasing private classification of court proceedings and its detrimental impact on the legal system
  • Every year we perform a Know Your Rights presentation on campus to train students and citizens on how to properly respond in police encounters on the street, in the home, and in the car. Several CU Law ACLU students also travel around the state performing Know Your Rights presentations on other campuses.