Colorado Rights Blog


  • 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: 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

  • 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. 

Support the Law Enforcement Integrity and Accountability Act

Our country is devastated by the frequent deaths and injuries of hundreds of Black and Brown people at the hands of the police. Police officers are entrusted to protect and serve the community and should be held accountable to the people they serve. Demand humane, equitable, and constitutional policing in Colorado communities.

Contact your representative and tell them to vote in support of the Law Enforcement Integrity and Accountability Act.

Police officers often escape liability because of qualified immunity, a legal doctrine that prevents the community from holding police responsible when they violate laws, policies, and community trust. Police officers are government officials who should be held accountable to the people they serve.


Take action now.

Read SB20-217 here.

Read our fact sheet and story sheet here. 

Learn more about qualified immunity.

Use our social media toolkit.

Write a letter to the editor in support of SB20-217. 

SB20-217 Supporters

The Family of Michael Marshall

The Family of De’Von Bailey

The Family of Marvin Booker

The Family of Elijah McClain

Colorado Freedom Fund

NAACP CO MT WY State Conference

Black Lives Matter 5280

Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition

Colorado Criminal Defense Bar

Office of the State Public Defender

Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel

Women’s Lobby of Colorado

Second Chance Center

Interfaith Alliance of Colorado

Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition

Colorado Press Association Network

Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights

Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition

Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition

Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center

Disability Law Colorado

Lawyers Civil Rights Committee

New Era Colorado

National Police Accountability Project

Colorado Juvenile Defender Center

Progress Now Colorado

Center for Health Progress

Healthier Colorado

Physicians for Criminal Justice Reform

Law Enforcement Action Partnership

Harm Reduction Action Center

Colorado Civic Engagement Roundtable


Colorado Coalition for the Homeless

Office of the Respondent Parent Counsel

Arc of Colorado

Indivisible Colorado Action Network

Everytown for Gun Safety

Moms Demand Action

Colorado Broadcasters Association

Colorado Consumer Health Initiative

Progress for Colorado

Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains

Colorado Trial Lawyers Association

Colorado Fiscal Institute

Denver Homeless Out Loud

Sam Cary Bar Association

Project Voyce

Denver Justice Project

United for New Economy

Together Colorado

Above Waters Project

SEIU Colorado

Colorado Working Families Party

One Colorado

Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network

9to5 Colorado

Colorado Social Legislation Committee

Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy & Research Organization


UNITE HERE! Local 23 Denver Chapter

UFCW Local 7

Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center

Atlantis Community, Inc.

Reciprocity Collective

West Metro Resistance

Enterprise Community Partners

Young Invincibles

East Colfax Community Collective

Positive Women’s Network Colorado

Positive Women’s Network USA

Defy Ventures Colorado

The Blossom Project

Transformative Freedom Fund

Art from Ashes

Colorado Transgender/Nonbinary Educators Network

Tough Angels

Arvadans for Progressive Action

Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning

About Face Veterans Against the War

Unitarian Universalist Community Minister

Problem Gambling Coalition of Colorado

JUUST Living intentional recovery community

Colorado Business Committee for the Arts

Veterans For Peace

Crowley Foundation

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Durango

CareerWise Colorado

Fighting to Farming

Live Well Colorado

Girls Inc. of Metro Denver

Canna-Patient Resource Connection

The Resistance 5280

NAACP Pueblo Branch

NAACP Aurora Branch

NAACP Colorado Springs Branch

NAACP Colorado Springs Youth Council

NAACP Weld County Organizing Committee

NAACP Boulder County Branch

NAACP State Civic Engagement & Voting Rights Committee

NAACP State Criminal Justice & Public Safety Committee

NAACP State Youth & College Division

NAACP Douglas County Organizing Committee

Advocacy Denver

Indivisible Front Range Resistance

JeffCo Colorado Action Network

Criminal Justice Act Panel Standing Committee

Indivisible Denver

Indivisible Colorado District 7

Indivisible North Denver

Indivisible CO-5

Indivisible Ambassadors

The Arc of Aurora

The Arc of Pueblo

The Arc of the Central Mountains

The Arc – Jefferson, Clear Creek & Gilpin Counties

The Arc of the Pikes Peak Region

The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties

The Association for Community Living Boulder and Broomfield Counties

The Arc of Larimer County

The Arc of Adams County

The Arc of Weld County

The Arc of Southwest Colorado

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