Police apologize after they mistakenly hold black family, including a little child, on the ground at gunpoint in a viral video
On Sunday morning in the city of Aurora, Colorado, police detained and handcuffed a group of young Black girls.
What was meant to be a girls day out for the Gilliam family turned into a traumatic experience. A video taken by a bystander shows how police handcuffed and forced 4 children (ages 6-17) onto the pavement of a parking lot.
Aurora PD handcuff and held family at gunpoint. pic.twitter.com/GkTWKFZqkI
— Joshua Rodriguez (@Joshuajered) August 3, 2020
The police explained that they had mistaken the SUV for a stolen vehicle.
The family was held at gunpoint as the police believed the SUV was a stolen vehicle; this mix-up was due to an ongoing investigation of a stolen motorcycle with the same license plate from a different state. In addition to this, the family’s SUV had also been reported stolen earlier this year, although it had been found the next day.
Not surprisingly, people are outraged at this incident, which driver Brittney Gilliam labeled as a case of police brutality. What is more, this is not the first time Aurora PD have been accused of unjust violence and police brutality; nearly a year ago, on August 24, 2019, Elijah McClain died after an encounter with the Aurora police.
Chief Vanessa Wilson of Aurora PD issued a statement regarding the incident, apologizing to the Gilliam family:
Statement regarding yesterday's car stop at Iliff and Buckley. pic.twitter.com/rNIJhRjUOu
— Chief Vanessa Wilson (@APDChiefWilson) August 4, 2020
Despite the APD’s apology, people are outraged at this incident, with the majority of people stating that apologies are not good enough. Instead of apologies, they want the officers responsible for the incident to resign or be fired. According to the New York Post, Teriana Thomas – one of the girls who was detained – told KUSA that following the incident, it will be difficult for her to trust the police: “It’s like they don’t care. Who am I going to call when my life is in danger?”
Every single police officer here should be fired. Every single supervisor should be fired. Let them all sue to get their jobs back. These imbeciles stopped the wrong car and held children at gunpoint and handcuffed them!!!!! @AuroraPD pic.twitter.com/1Ct4iK0MCh
— Naveed Jamali (@NaveedAJamali) August 4, 2020
People are outraged at the police’s actions and the incompetency shown through this incident as they ask: How did they mistake an SUV for a motorcycle? How could they not take into account that the license plates are from two different states? Would the police react this way if it were a white family? And most importantly, when will this end?