video footage, shot by a bystander and broadcast on local
television, shows the girls, ages 6, 12, 14 and 17, on the
ground with several police officers of the Denver suburb of
Aurora standing over them.
The car was being driven by Brittney Gilliam, 27, the mother of
the 6-year-old. Gilliam is shown in the video being handcuffed
Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson apologized to the family and
said she was reviewing a department policy requiring that
officers draw their weapons and order occupants of suspected
stolen vehicles to lie prone during "high-risk" stops.
"We must allow our officers to have discretion and to deviate
from this process when different scenarios present themselves,"
Wilson, Aurora's first female police chief, said.
Wilson said the city would pay for any counseling the girls
needed following the incident.
The Aurora Police Department is already facing state and federal
investigations over the August 2019 death of Elijah McClain, a
23-year-old Black man who died after three policemen subdued him
and paramedics injected him with the sedative ketamine.
"If there ever was a police department that needs to be
de-funded, abolished and rebuilt from the ground up, itís
Aurora," said David Lane, an attorney for family members of the
Protesters who took to the streets following the death of George
Floyd, a Black man, under the knee of a Minneapolis police
officer have called for police agencies nationwide to be
The weekend incident in Aurora stemmed from an erroneous report
that Gilliam, her nieces, sister and daughter were in a stolen
car, Lane said.
The attorney said he will seek a legal settlement with the city,
but that if negotiations prove unsuccessful "itís off to court
(Reporting by Keith Coffman in Denver; Editing by Dan Whitcomb
and Leslie Adler)
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