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.
ACLU and Denver Officials Agree to Resolve Lawsuit over Denver Police Spy Files
The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Colorado (ACLU) announced a settlement today of its landmark lawsuit challenging the Denver Police Department’s practice of monitoring and recording the peaceful protest activities of Denver-area residents and keeping criminal intelligence files on the expressive activities of law-abiding advocacy groups, some of which were falsely labeled as “criminal extremist.” “Denver has agreed to put an end to its decades-long practice.... | Read More
Colorado Springs Police Surveillance Information Appears in Denver Spy Files
The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Colorado (ACLU) today released documents revealing that the Colorado Springs Police Department has collected intelligence information on the free speech activities of peaceful critics of government policy and has sent its information directly to the Denver Police Department for inclusion, with other information about First Amendment activities in Colorado Springs, in the controversial Denver Police Spy Files. "Earlier this year we learned that individuals.... | Read More
ACLU of Colorado Files Class Action Lawsuit Challenging Denver Police Spyfiles on Peaceful Protest Activities
The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Colorado (ACLU) filed a class action lawsuit today challenging the Denver Police Department's practice of monitoring and recording the peaceful protest activities of Denver-area residents, keeping files on the expressive activities of law-abiding advocacy organizations, and sharing those files with third parties. The suit also charges that Denver police have falsely labeled the ACLU's clients as "criminal extremist," including the.... | Read More
ACLU Calls for Denver Police to Stop Keeping Files on Peaceful Protesters
In a news conference held today, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Colorado (ACLU) charged that the Denver Police Department is monitoring and recording the peaceful protest activities of Denver-area residents and keeping files on the expressive activities of law-abiding advocacy organizations. The ACLU also contended that the Denver Police Department has inappropriately smeared the reputations of peaceful advocates of nonviolent social change by falsely labeling their organizations.... | Read More
CONTACT: Mark Silverstein, ACLU Legal Director, 303-777-5482 x114 The ACLU of Colorado announced today a settlement of a four-year-old legal battle over state regulations that apply to rallies, demonstrations, and other First Amendment activity on the West steps of the Capitol Building and nearby locations administered by the Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration (DPA). “Colorado has now revised regulations adopted in 2004 that threatened the right of the public to freely.... | Read More
Federal court orders class action status in ACLU case on behalf of prisoners in Garfield County Jail
CONTACT: Mark Silverstein, ACLU Legal Director, 303.777.5482 x114 Federal district court judge Wiley Y. Daniel issued a 42-page opinion Thursday that certifies, as a class action, an ACLU lawsuit filed in 2006 on behalf of prisoners in the Garfield County Jail in Glenwood Springs. The motion for class certification had been waiting for decision since October, 2006, but a ruling was delayed because of the long illness of Judge Phillip S. Figa, to whom the case had originally been assigned. .... | Read More