Aurora Police Department Involved In Police Brutality Drama

Aurora Police Department Involved In Police Brutality Drama

Amritha Suresh

On August 2nd 2020, Brittney Gilliam, along with her 17 year old sister, six year old daughter, and 12 and 14 year old nieces, were out for a “Sunday Funday”. Their plan for the day was to get their nails done, and then go out for ice cream afterwards. But, once the women reached the nail salon, they found out that it was closed. So, they pulled over into a parking lot, and looked for another nail salon they could go to instead. 

Then, one of Gilliams nieces screams, “Oh my God, there’s cops behind us with their guns drawn!” Officers surround the car, guns pointed. They told everyone to just get out of the car, and that they would explain later. A video filmed by bystanders of the terrifying scene showed; four black minors, lying down on their stomachs, on the sun- heated blacktop. The 2 teens were put into handcuffs, and Brittney Gilliam, the oldest, was put into a cop car. 

The children screamed, as bystanders begged the officers to let them up. The officers eventually realized their mistake, and let the family out of the handcuffs, but the group of 5 had to wait more than 2 hours for a Sergeant to show up, and then a lieutenant. All five of the women experienced emotional trauma that day, and the four minors involved go to therapy weekly, because of how deeply frightening the experience was. 

The whole thing happened, because Brittney Gilliams car had the same license plate as a motorcycle that was reported missing. But the motorcycle was from a different state. 

But the Aurora Police Department(APD) has a history of situations involving police brutality against innocent black civilians. A little bit less than a year before this incident happened, an incident similar happened involving a black man named Elijah McClain. He was simply reported to 911 for “looking sketchy”, and the caller even said he did not believe that Elijah was dangerous. But when the police arrived, he was put into a carotid chokehold which is banned in multiple states. He then was injected with ketamine, and was later pronounced brain dead. 

It is very apparent that the APD has a systematic issue with police brutality against black individuals. Two very similar situations, where cops used their power over innocent citizens- under the same police department, and less than a year between each other. 

The officers in Brittney Gilliams case were never charged with anything, because it was said that nothing unlawful occured, and it was just ‘disturbing’ that minors had guns pointed at them.