Brittany Gilliam was with her 6-year-old daughter, 12-year-old sister and 14- and 17-year-old nieces when police threw their weapons at them. Gilliam said that she, her sister and a 17-year-old niece were handcuffed while police verified that the car Gilliam was driving was not stolen.
A Facebook video shows children on the ground in a parking lot, surrounded by police. He can be heard crying in the video. Viewers tried to intervene and questioned the police about pulling a gun on their girls.
Gilliam and the four girls are all black.
Interim Chief of Police Vanessa Wilson said on Tuesday, “I have called the family to apologize and offer any help we can provide, especially to the children who suffered from yesterday’s events Can be. ” “I have reached out to my aggrieved advocates so that we can offer age-appropriate therapy that will cover the city.”
In an interview with CNN, Gilliam said that she was taking the girls to fetch their nails on the day of the incident. Gillora said, after her niece opened the nail salon, she looked back at the vehicle to see that she and the girls were standing in the parking lot as the car overturned, Gilliam said, when the Aurora police opened her vehicle with a gun. Pulled back and yelled for them to put their hands out the window and get out of the car.
Gilliam and the girls got out of the vehicle and were told to face on the ground. At the time, the police handcuffed Gilliam, her sister and niece. Gilliam said police would not tell him why he was pulled until he was handcuffed.
Aurora police said Gilliam’s vehicle was stolen, she said. Gilliam said he reported that his vehicle was stolen in February, but it was cleared. She said that she offered to show them vehicle registration and insurance paperwork.
Gilliam’s lawyer insisted on CNN that when the vehicle was stolen in February, it was returned the next day by the Aurora Police.
Gilliam said that he asked why the children were being handcuffed and when he got enmity, he asked the authorities to handcuff the children.
“If you wanted me to be handcuffed at that point, I’d gladly agree on that because you had a job to do and you did it under the right protocol, but you pointed a gun at four kids And then you proceeded to start. Handcuffing the kids, “Gilliam said.
Gilliam said police later told her about the mix-up.
Training and procedure under examination
Wilson said in a statement that grabbing weapons is in the department’s policy when police believe a car has been stolen.
“We are training our officers to do what is called a high-risk stop when they approach a suspected stolen car. This involves engaging our weapons and keeping all occupants out of the car.” Including ordering to leave and lying on the ground. But we Wilson said that our officers should be allowed to have discretion and to deviate from the process. “I already directed my team to look at new practices and training Have done. ”
According to a statement from the department, officers were informed before 11 am Sunday for a possible stolen vehicle. Police said they stopped a vehicle matching the license plate and description, littered people on the ground and placed some in handcuffs.
After stopping, officers realized that the car Gilliam was driving was not stolen, but another vehicle with the same plate information, but was from a different state, police said in the statement.
“The confusion may occur for some time, as the stopped car was already stolen,” the statement said. “After realizing the mistake, the officers immediately included everyone, who happened and apologized.”
According to the statement, an internal investigation has been opened.
The Aurora Police Department has recently come under scrutiny for the death in custody of 23-year-old, Eliza McClain, who was on her way home from a convenience store in August last year.
According to a report, McClain was placed in the chokehold and was blown away for a while. The police department fired three officers involved.