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?
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.
Blog post and video with camp residents
Read the blog post and watch the video at Soup Stone Station. | Read More
From the Colorado Springs Gazette: Officers did not violate rights during homeless sweeps
Read Lance Benzel's article about the results of the Colorado Springs Police Department's internal investigation. | Read More
From the Denver Post: ACLU aids inquiry of camp sweeps
Read Alysia Patterson's article about our investigation of the Colorado Springs Police Department. | Read More
Colorado Springs Gazette covers ACLU’s investigation
Read Carlyn Ray Mitchell's article about our investigation and legal advocacy around the destruction of private property of the homeless in Colorado Springs. | Read More
ACLU Asks Denver Police Internal Affairs to Re-open Investigation Into Racial Profiling Incident
Today the ACLU of Colorado asked the Denver Police Department's Internal Affairs Bureau to re-open its investigation into two African-American citizens’ complaints of racial profiling arising from a traffic stop on February 13, 2009. Read the ACLU's letter to the IAB here. The DPD concluded the complaint was “not substantiated,” but a Denver County Court Judge who heard testimony about the incident reached the opposite conclusion. After a bench trial, the court dismissed.... | Read More
New documents confirm that FBI
Releasing new documents obtained from the FBI under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Legal Director of the Colorado ACLU, Mark Silverstein, said today that the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) wastes resources and threatens First Amendment rights by wrongfully equating nonviolent protest with domestic terrorism. “These documents confirm that the names and license plate numbers of several dozen peaceful protesters who committed no crime are now in a JTTF file marked ‘counterterrorism,’”.... | Read More