The Aurora Police Department in Colorado are once again in the spotlight for the mistreatment of its citizens. Recently, calls have been made for a number of Aurora officers to be fired and prosecuted following the unnecessary death of Elijah McCain. Controversy has returned to the department after a recent viral video of its officers circulated on the internet, showing them holding a family—including children—at gunpoint.
According to a report made by The Washington Post, members of the Gilliam family—including sisters, cousins, aunts, and nieces—came together for a girl’s day out. They planned on getting their nail done at a salon, but soon they all found themselves being ordered out of their SUV in the parking lot. They were commanded to get down on the hot asphalt as surrounding officers held them at gunpoint and handcuffed them. The family of Black women and girls were told to lie facedown and the viral video shows a number of White officers shouting at them.
The young girls’ ages were from six to 17 and in the video, some can be heard crying as they beg officers to let them be near their sisters or yell out that they want their mothers. Later, Aurora Police addressed the controversy and said that it was an unfortunate occurrence that took place due to a mix-up.
According to authorities, the girls were riding in a blue SUV with license plates that matched those of a stolen motorcycle in another state. “The license plate number on a stolen motorcycle matched the family’s blue SUV, and that car had been reported missing earlier this year, too,” The Post reports.
“That’s police brutality,” said Brittney Gilliam, who filed a complaint against the officers. “There’s no excuse 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.’ ”
The APD’s Police Chief issued a formal statement on social media and apologized to the family. You can check that out below.