Investigation into Aurora Police Officers underway after Black family wrongly detained

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Aurora police mistaken stolen car stop

DENVER, Colo. — An investigation is now underway in Aurora, following an incident involving police there on August 2, 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler said via written statement Friday.

That day, police in suburban Denver detained a group of Black girls, handcuffing at least two, during an investigation of a stolen car. Officers later determined the vehicle they were seeking had the same license plate number, but was from out-of-state.

“Public accounts of the incident in a parking lot near Iliff and Buckley are very concerning,” Brauchler wrote.

Witnesses on scene captured video showing a 17-year-old and 12-year-old lying on their stomachs with their hands cuffed behind their backs, and a 14-year-old girl lying next to a 6-year-old, also on their stomachs, in a parking lot next to the car.

Police then determined they had stopped the wrong car. It had Colorado license plates, but a motorcycle with the same license plate number from Montana was the vehicle that had been reported as stolen.

Driver Brittney Gilliam, who had taken her nieces, sister and daughter out for a girls’ day at the nail salon, called the officers’ actions a case of police brutality.

“Everyone is entitled to be treated equally under the law. No one is above the law,” Brauchler wrote. “If our investigation determines that the officers involved committed a crime, I will not hesitate to file charges and prosecute them.”


According to the statement released Friday, Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson and the Aurora Police Department are cooperating with the district attorney’s investigation.

A short time after Brauchler’s statement was released, Chief Wilson posted her reponse online.

Wilson noted an internal investigation into the incident is already underway.

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