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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. 

Reinstatement A Step Backwards For Denver Law Enforcement

The people of Denver should not have to pay the price for a bureaucrat who failed to do his job.

Ron Perea’s failure to fire Officers Murr and Sparks for their brutal beating of Michael DeHerrera and their despicable cover-up of the assault rightly cost Perea his job. Both officers received nothing more than slaps on the wrist and were permitted to continue terrorizing the people of Denver. This wasn’t an isolated incident- just three months earlier; Officer Murr was one of a trio of officers who beat Community College of Denver student Alex Landau so badly that the city ended up settling for nearly $800,000.

Denver took a step backward today.

There is a time for process, for paperwork and for following regulations, but when the consequences of years of tangled red tape literally puts residents at risk of losing life and limb, then leadership and principles must prevail.

If these two officers will once again patrol the streets of Denver, their reinstatement is more than an insult to the residents of our city; it is a threat. We welcome Interim Manager of Safety Ashley Kilroy’s disagreement with the Civil Service Commission, and we look forward to the City Attorney’s appeal of this decision. But no matter how this bureaucratic process plays out, we call upon Mayor Michael Hancock to exercise the leadership he promised us and restore our faith in Denver law enforcement by keeping these brutes off the street.



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