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. 

We Won, but the Fight for Reproductive Rights Continues.

We have a lot to celebrate after Election Day. Here in Colorado, we defeated Prop 115 to keep abortion bans out of our state. And with record-breaking ballots cast nationwide, thanks in large part to deep organizing by people of color, we are setting the stage to protect reproductive freedom for all.

With a SCOTUS hostile to abortion rights and anti-abortion advocates determined to overturn Roe v. Wade, it’s more important than ever to safeguard abortion access in Colorado.

We have momentum, and it’s time to seize this moment. When Coloradans resoundingly voted #NoOn115 it was a referendum — abortion bans have no place in our state. Now, we are partnering with reproductive rights and justice organizations from across the state to harness that energy and chart a path forward.

Our organization is proud to be a founding member of a new initiative called Beyond the Bans. We are building a collective of abortion patients, doctors, people of faith, advocates, and more, united by the belief that access to abortion shouldn’t be determined by your zip code, income, whether you have access to health insurance, your immigration status or the color of your skin.

Join us in moving #BeyondTheBans. Sign up for email updates here.

We defeated Prop 115 on November 3, because when people hear the harm caused by abortion bans — whether at six weeks or 22 weeks — they reject them. The #NoOn115 coalition was successful in defeating a ban, now is our opportunity to go on the offensive to protect abortion rights.

It’s time to focus on educating our communities about the realities of abortion. This includes uplifting real stories from individuals and families who have received abortion care, from doctors who provide abortions and from advocates like you who believe abortion is essential healthcare. Only then can we begin to move Colorado #BeyondTheBans.

You were a crucial member of the coalition to defeat Prop 115. We’ll need your effort and your energy in the next phase of this fight too — as we work to ensure ALL people have access to abortion care without barriers and without stigma. We’ve already built a broad and diverse coalition, let’s keep it going and move Colorado #BeyondTheBans.

This people-powered movement is equitable, intersectional and rooted in Colorado values. We’re excited for you to join us. You can also follow Beyond The Bans on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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