Aurora police mistaking an SUV for a stolen out of state motorcycle stopped the vehicle. Then at gunpoint handcuffed a Black mother and her children forcing them to lay face down on the hot pavement.
It happened in the parking lot of a shopping center off of Buckley Road and East Iliff Ave. Sunday morning according to ABC 7 .
The Washington Post reports that Sunday morning was meant to be a girls outing for the Gilliams, as cousins, sisters, aunts and nieces piled into an SUV to go get their nails done together in suburban Denver.
But before they could even find an open salon, the family’s four children were ordered at gunpoint to lie facedown on the parking lot, and two were handcuffed. The Black girls, who range from 6 to 17 years old, broke down into tears and screams as a group of White police officers hovered over them.
“Why are you now placing these children on the ground face into the concrete? It’s hot! In front of all of us? Screaming at them. They are telling you they are hurt,” witness Jenni Wurtz said.
Wurtz said that she isn’t ‘anti-police’ had for whatever reason drawn her personal weapon while recording the incident.
Wurtz, a white woman appeared incredulous that she remained unnoticed by the police even though she had drawn her gun.
Marilyn’s Mother commented on the YouTube Video:
“What was the point of this kind of show of brute force? Even if this was a stolen vehicle I’m failing to understand how handcuffing children and forcing them to lay on pavement is beneficial. If this was a stolen vehicle I’d find it hard to believe that small children are criminal masterminds in needs of such harsh treatment. No one should suffer this dehumanizing treatment. I don’t care that this was an error made by the computer. That woman and her children were treated in an unjust way. I hope she sues, and I hope she wins. She was clearly profiled. It may have been a mix up with the car, but I’m sure it would’ve been handled differently with a white family…”
CHIKA ODUMODU wrote:
“Look at the little kids on the concrete. I am pro-law enforcement but this is pathetic.”
Apparently, their SUV was reported as stolen earlier this year, but that complaint was canceled soon after.
Aurora’s police chief apologized on Monday night and launched an internal investigation after video of the incident quickly went viral. Police blamed a misunderstanding: 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.
An honest mistake? But in all honesty handcuffing an innocent seven-year-old child face-first on the pavement is inexcusable.
Statement regarding yesterday's car stop at Iliff and Buckley. pic.twitter.com/rNIJhRjUOu
— Chief Vanessa Wilson (@APDChiefWilson) August 4, 2020