VIDEO: Colorado PD Apologizes for Handcuffing, Drawing Guns on Black Girls in Mistaken Stop

(Video courtesy Jennifer Wurtz)
Photo credit (Video courtesy Jennifer Wurtz)

Denver police are offering apologies and an internal investigation after officers forced four Black girls, ages 6 through 17 to lie facedown on a parking lot, while two were handcuffed. 

Aurora’s police chief apologized on Monday, according to the Washington Post, and blamed the incident, which was captured on video and went viral on social media, as a misunderstanding: The Chief explained that 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.

(Video courtesy Jennifer Wurtz)

Aurora PD handcuff and held family at gunpoint.

— Joshua Rodriguez (@Joshuajered) August 3, 2020

“That’s police brutality,” a relative who was driving the four girls told KUSA. “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.’ ”

Police said in a statement: "Police were notified about a possible stolen vehicle near a strip mall on Aurora’s Iliff Avenue. Officers dispatched to the scene found a vehicle matching the physical description and license plate number they had been given."

Statement regarding yesterday's car stop at Iliff and Buckley.

— Chief Vanessa Wilson (@APDChiefWilson) August 4, 2020

Monday, the interim Aurora Police Chief publicly apologized to the Gilliam family and offered "age-appropriate therapy that the city will cover," for the children involved.