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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. 

Statement on the Judgment that Denver Sheriff’s Deputies Used Excessive Force in the Death of Marvin Booker

October 14, 2014

DENVER – A federal court jury today found Denver sheriff’s deputies used excessive force against Rev. Marvin L. Booker, who died at the Denver Jail in 2010, and awarded Rev. Booker’s family $4.6 million in punitive and compensatory damages.

ACLU of Colorado Executive Director Nathan Woodliff-Stanley issued the following statement:

“The ACLU of Colorado offers somber congratulations to the family of Rev. Marvin L. Booker and the attorneys that delivered justice today in the form of a record judgment against the City of Denver and the sheriff’s deputies who took Rev. Booker’s life.  Marvin Booker was killed by excessive force, and no judgment can change that, but a clear message was sent today that the public demands accountability from law enforcement officers and the officials who oversee them.

“The City of Denver’s internal investigation in 2011 concluded that the deputies violated no policies and would face no discipline for putting the 56 year-old Booker in a chokehold, kneeling on his back while he was pinned to the ground, and shocking him with a taser while he was handcuffed, ultimately causing his death.

“As the ACLU of Colorado noted in our 2011 letter to the U.S. Department of Justice, ‘that decision, that a homicide carried out by Sheriff’s deputies carries no consequences, that Denver’s policies allow Sheriff’s deputies to take a prisoner’s life, fueled the already burning outrage in communities policed by Denver Law enforcement, especially among communities of color.’  Today, justice was delivered for the Booker family, but more needs to be done to stop law enforcement misconduct and to ensure that what happened to Marvin Booker does not happen again.

Read the 2011 ACLU letter to the U.S. Department of Justice requesting an investigation into the pattern and practice of police misconduct and civil rights violations by Denver Law enforcement: https://www.aclu.org/files/assets/co_doj.pdf

Visit our criminal justice page at: https://aclu-co.org/issues/criminal-justice/



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