Black Family Detained And Handcuffed By Aurora Police At Gunpoint In Colorado
A Black family were detained and handcuffed at gunpoint after officers mistakenly thought the SUV they were travelling in was stolen.
Horrifying footage captured by bystanders has emerged on social media of Aurora Police officers in Colorado cuffing and arresting the driver, while young family members are forced onto the ground of a parking lot.
The clip, which was taken on Sunday, August 2, shows the family lying on their stomachs with their hands behind their backs while police escort them into their vehicles.
You can watch it here:
The children, who are aged six, 12, 14 and 17, watch on screaming and crying as the driver was arrested in a case of mistaken identity.
The mistake came after officers matched the license plate and description they had been given regarding a stolen vehicle. It was later revealed they were actually looking for a motorcycle that had the same Montana license plate.
The driver of the vehicle was later identified as Brittney Gilliam, who had been travelling in the vehicle with her nieces, younger sister and daughter.
Gillam had been taking her family members to get their nails done when they realised the salon was closed, and so headed back to the vehicle.
They got back to the car to find it had been surrounded by officers who had their guns drawn.
Speaking to News9 after the incident, Gillam said:
There’s no excuse why you [cops] 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 was different ways to handle it.
Aurora Police Department Chief Vanessa Wilson took to Twitter following the incident to confirm the officers had since been in touch with the family to apologise for the mistake.
‘We have been training our officers that when they contact a suspected stolen car, they should do what is called a high-risk stop. This involves drawing their weapons and ordering all occupants to exit the car and lie prone on the ground,’ she wrote.
‘I have called the family to apologise and to offer any help we can provide, especially for the children who may have been traumatised by yesterday’s events. I have reached out to our victim advocates so we can offer age-appropriate therapy that the city will cover.’
The incident comes amid international protests calling for an end to the police brutality disproportionately suffered by the Black community.
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