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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. 

New leadership for the ACLU of Colorado

Since October of 2012, it has been my enormous privilege to serve as Executive Director of the ACLU of Colorado. Now, I am preparing to move on from this position, after completing our current fiscal year on March 31. I would not do this if I were not confident that we have the resources, staff and expertise to continue the critical work we do every day. You can read the official announcement at ACLU-co.org

When I began this position, I could not have imagined everything that we would accomplish in less than eight years. Our staff has more than doubled, our budget and reserves have more than tripled, and our membership has more than quadrupled. We have seen many dozens of legal victories and settlements, local policy wins, and legislative and ballot victories that have protected or expanded civil rights and civil liberties in Colorado. We have seen civil unions and marriage equality, many elements of criminal justice reform, expansion of voting rights in Colorado, laws to protect immigrants, protection of reproductive rights and so much more. We have built a communications team, added positions in education, issue research, and development, created a new campaigns and field capacity and learned how to mobilize members and supporters in elections.

That essential work, to protect and defend the civil rights and dignity of each person across all the arenas in which this fight occurs will soon continue under a new leader. Your continued support is essential to this work. The ACLU of Colorado and the ACLU nationwide will keep fighting vigorously for our rights and our democracy in this critical year and for many more years to come. I thank you for showing your commitment by continuing or increasing your support for the ACLU both now and in the future.

Nathan Woodliff-Stanley

 



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