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. 

17. Live From Lobby Day

Last week the ACLU of Colorado hosted its annual Lobby Day. Over one hundred community lobbyists came out to defend civil liberties for all Coloradans. We interviewed several people and asked them what brought them to the Capitol. We also have an update from Staff Attorney Arash Jahanian on the class action lawsuit filed against El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder for illegally holding prisoners for ICE. 

Call To Action: President Trump’s pick for CIA director has a dark history of leading state-sponsored torture – and the Senate must not even start her confirmation hearings until that history is declassified and publicly released.

Call To Action: A bill was recently introduced in the Colorado legislature that is one of the most mean-spirited, blatantly anti-LGBT bills to be introduced in the Colorado State Legislature in years, and one of the most hateful and despicable attacks on gay, lesbian, and trans people that our state has ever seen.

Call the sponsors of the HB18-1206 bill: 

Prime Sponsors:

Rep. Stephen Humphrey– 303-866-2943

Rep. Kevin Lundberg – 303-866-4853

Additional Sponsors:

Rep. J. Becker– 303-866-3706

Rep. J. Everett– 303-866-2927

Rep. T. Leonard– 303-866-2582

Rep. K. Lewis– 303-866-2398

Rep. P. Lundeen– 303-866-2924

Rep. P. Neville– 303-866-5523

Rep. K. Ransom– 303-866-2933

Rep. L. Saine– 303-866-2906

Rep. S. Sandridge– 303-866-2965

Rep. K. Van Winkle– 303-866-2936

Rep. Y. Willett– 303-866-2583

Rep. D. Williams– 303-866-5525

Sen. R. Baumgardner– 303-866-5292

Sen. C. Holbert– 303-866-4881

Sen. K. Lambert– 303-866-4835

Sen. V. Marble– 303-866-4876

Sen. T. Neville– 303-866-4873

Sen. K. Priola– 303-866-4855

Sen. J. Sonnenberg– 303-866-6360


Return to News