Black household handcuffed after mistakenly suspected of driving stolen autos is suing Aurora, Colorado police
Last August, a black family in Aurora, Colorado was stopped by police. Four black girls – children and adolescents aged 6, 12, 14 and 17 – were ordered out of their vehicle at gunpoint and had to lie on the ground while officers handcuffed the 12- and 17-year-olds and they all screamed in terror and cried. Police were called in to investigate a stolen vehicle – a motorcycle with Montana license plates. Instead, they stopped an SUV with Colorado license plates. The police apologized to the family, but the officers were cleared of any wrongdoing and were not disciplined.
Aurora, Colorado, police apologize after handcuffing and arresting black children who are mistakenly suspected of driving a stolen car
Now the family is telling everyone to use their wallets to say “I’m sorry” when a lawsuit was filed against the city, the police chief and five police officers involved in the stop on Monday.
According to the Denver Post, the lawsuit alleges that an officer tried to handcuff the 6-year-old, but the handcuffs were “too big to fit around her wrists.” It is also alleged that the Aurora Police Department is insufficiently trained, that the officers had no likely reason to stop the family, and that the Police Department has committed racism and police brutality in the past. (This is a good time to mention that this is the same law enforcement agency that brutalized Elijah McClain and ultimately caused his death. Police officers from this department also mocked McClain’s death by reenacting the chokehold that led to his death while they posed for pictures near a McClain memorial.)
As The Root previously reported, Brittney Gilliam – the driver of the SUV and mother of the 6-year-old, who was also handcuffed – had planned a day trip for the children. It was supposed to be a Sunday fun day with nails done and ice cream eaten. Instead, it turned into another day of black people harassed and outrageously ill-treated by police after two officers, Darian Dasko and Madisen Moen, reportedly “failed to verify the information they received from a license plate reader that it was themselves.” A motorcycle with Montana was records reported stolen, not an SUV with Colorado records. The SUV had the same license number as the stolen motorcycle, but was completely uninvolved, ”said the Post.
The story goes on
“There was no sign of any danger to Mrs Gilliam and the girls [officers] or someone else, ”the lawsuit says. “On the contrary, it was [officers] who put an innocent woman and four children at risk of harm by holding them at gunpoint, handcuffing and searching them, and permanently traumatizing them. “
NBC News reports that the lawsuit also alleges the family had been held for two hours until a sergeant arrived, stating that the “unfortunate fact that several Aurora police officers found innocent black children handcuffed and at gunpoint.” detained and several other police officers failed to intervene is evidence of the deep and systematic problem of racism and brutality within the APD. “
From the post:
The 18th district attorney’s office cleared officers from criminal offenses earlier this month. Assistant District Attorney Clinton McKinzie described the incident as “unacceptable and avoidable” but not as criminal.
Two days after the incident, Wilson said it was “done wrong” and apologized for the officers making several mistakes.
The botched stop attracted national attention, and the lawsuit says Gilliam and the children are all in therapy. Some of the children have difficulty eating and sleeping, according to the complaint.
There’s a reason I detest the Blue Lives Matter movement – I mean, other than the fact that it’s a racist and fragile response to Black Lives Matter. Cops don’t need support; Our justice system is already working to protect them from the consequences of their actions. Right now, there are people in jail, and even in jail, who have done far less harm to others than what these officials did to this family.
I hope they all get their coins.