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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. 

CU Sociology Professor Patti Adler’s Class Exercise is not Sexual Harassment

Class exercise about prostitution not “sexual harassment,” say national organizations in response to intimidation and threats by the University of Colorado-Boulder directed at sociology professor Patti Adler.

Joint statement warns CU-Boulder’s violation of academic freedom could have chilling effects across higher education

BOULDER–A joint statement released today by the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), ACLU of Colorado (ACLU-CO), Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and Student Press Law Center takes aim at the University of Colorado Boulder for its attempts to silence and intimidate Professor Patti Adler because of a class exploring the issue of prostitution.

The organizations are calling on the University to re-instate Professor Adler’s popular “Deviance in U.S. Society” course–with Adler as instructor–”without further reviews or conditions.” Adler reported in December that she had been advised that the course was being cancelled, and that she was given the choice to return, but not teach the course, or to take early retirement. The University’s actions were reportedly due to concerns that a classroom exercise in which teaching assistants role-play as prostitutes might constitute sexual harassment. Adler has used the exercise for many years in the course, which regularly attracts 500 students.

“We felt it was critical to organize a national response in this case both to support academic freedom and free speech on campus, and to clarify that sexual harassment laws and policies were never intended to chill legitimate academic inquiry into subjects like sexuality and sexual deviance. The distinction is essential to a myriad of important subjects of university study, such as Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer and Courbet’s painting L’Origine du monde,” said NCAC Executive Director Joan Bertin.

“Classroom discussion of issues related to sex and sexuality is not sexual harassment,” said Mark Silverstein, ACLU of Colorado Legal Director. “By suggesting otherwise, and raising the possibility of disciplinary proceedings, the CU administration unjustifiably threatens to silence not only Professor Adler, but any professor whose classroom teaching may touch on sensitive topics.”

The statement outlines a decade of landmark Supreme Court decisions defining sexual harassment, which must be “severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive” behavior of a sexual nature. In contrast, a “mere offensive utterance” in the classroom or an “isolated instance” does not amount to sexual harassment.

NCAC and the other co-signers have dismissed CU Boulder’s latest offer to reinstate Adler after a faculty review of her class as insufficient “since this course was apparently singled out for extraordinary scrutiny based solely on the content, in violation of fundamental First Amendment principles.” Such a review “inevitably has a chilling effect, not only on Professor Adler, but on the faculty as whole and even on faculty at other Universities.”



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