Police in Aurora, Colorado, are apologizing for detaining a group of Black girls, two of them handcuffed, alleging that they were in a stolen vehicle, according to CNN.
Brittney Gilliam, who was in the vehicle with her 6-year-old daughter, 12-year-old sister, and 14- and 17-year-old nieces, were stopped by police officers who stated that the car they were in was stolen. The police officers handcuffed her, her 12-year-old sister, and 17-year-old niece.
A video of the Gilliam and the girls being handcuffed was posted on Twitter.
Aurora PD handcuff and held family at gunpoint. pic.twitter.com/GkTWKFZqkI
— Joshua Rodriguez (@Joshuajered) August 3, 2020
Newly appointed Chief of Police Vanessa Wilson released a statement earlier this week.
“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. But we must allow our officers to have discretion and to deviate from this process when different scenarios present themselves. I have already directed my team to look at new practices and training,” Wilson said in a prepared statement.
“I have called the family to apologize and to offer any help we can provide, especially for the children who may have been traumatized by yesterday’s events. I have reached out to our victim advocates so we can offer age-appropriate therapy that the city will cover.”
Statement regarding yesterday’s car stop at Iliff and Buckley. pic.twitter.com/rNIJhRjUOu
— Chief Vanessa Wilson (@APDChiefWilson) August 4, 2020
On Tuesday, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis called the incident “horrible and painful to watch.”
“As a father of children of similar age, I could only imagine it was, you know, my daughter, who also likes to wear princess crowns, traumatized by that encounter, which was an incorrect identification by the Aurora police department.”