Aurora Police Apologize After Holding Innocent Black Children At Gunpoint In Mistaken Traffic Stop (Video)

Aurora Police Apologize After Holding Innocent Black Children At Gunpoint In Mistaken Traffic Stop (Video)

August 4, 2020

Police in Aurora, Colorado are under fire yet again for mishandling an incident with innocent Black people.

On Sunday morning, officers were caught detaining a Black family traveling in an SUV and handcuffing the children, ages 6 to 17, at gunpoint in what turned out to be a mistaken traffic stop. According to the department, Brittany Gilliam‘s SUV had the same license plate number as a stolen motorcycle — but the vehicle was from a different state. 

Police told CBS 4 Denver that this was a “high risk” stop and that approaching with their guns drawn was standard procedure. But Gilliam — who was driving that morning to look for an open nail salon — is livid, and says the cops should have done things much differently considering a handful of children were in the vehicle.

As seen in video (below) recorded by bystanders, the children can be heard screaming and crying as police handcuff Gilliam, her 12-year-old sister, and her 17-year-old niece, while having a 14-year-old niece and Gilliam’s 6-year-old daughter lie face-down on the concrete.

Gilliam told 9News of the incident: 

“There’s no excuse for why you didn’t handle it a different type of way. You could have even told them, ‘Step off to the side, let me ask your mom or your auntie a few questions so we can get this cleared up.’ There were different ways to handle it.”

For their part, Aurora Police apologized to Gilliam and her family. A statement from interim police chief Vanessa Wilson reads:

“We first want to offer our apologies to the family involved in the traumatic incident involving a police stop of their vehicle yesterday. I have reached out to our victim advocates so we can offer age-appropriate therapy that the city will cover.”

Wilson confirmed standard stolen vehicle procedure involves officers approaching the vehicle with guns drawn and making all occupants lie on the ground. However, she acknowledged that authorities “must allow our officers to have discretion and to deviate from this process when different scenarios present themselves,” adding:

“I have already directed my team to look at new practices and training.”

Well, it’s a start — but not enough for Gilliam, who told ABC 7 news that the children now are fearful of the police. She shared:

“I don’t accept their apology. Get a new damn policy.”

As you may know, the Aurora Police Department got into hot water earlier this year for the killing of Elijah McClain, an unarmed Black man who died after he was stopped while walking down the street by officers last August. 

The 23-year-old McClain was returning from a store wearing a ski mask when officers put him in a chokehold and paramedics injected him with a sedative. He had a heart attack and died six days later. What do U think about this, Perezcious readers? Watch some of Sunday’s incident play out (below) and share your thoughts in the comments.

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