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US Police Settlement: Black Girls Held at Gunpoint Receive $1.9Million

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The city of Aurora has agreed to a $1.9 million settlement with a Black family from Colorado following an incident where police held four juvenile relatives at gunpoint. Brittney Gilliam and her six-year-old daughter, along with her nieces aged 14 and 17, and her 12-year-old sister, were mistakenly stopped in a parking lot back in 2020.

Police believed Gilliam was driving a stolen car and conducted what they termed a “high-risk stop.” The encounter, captured on camera, sparked widespread outrage.

The officers ordered the girls to lie face down on the hot pavement and handcuffed them. Despite apologies from the police and an offer to cover therapy services for the children, Gilliam later sued, alleging “profound and systemic” racism within the police force.

The incident unfolded when Gilliam and the girls visited a nail salon, only to find it closed upon their return to their car. Officers approached with guns drawn as the family got into the vehicle.

In the video footage, Gilliam and all four girls can be seen lying face down in the parking lot. Gilliam, her 12-year-old sister, and her 17-year-old niece were handcuffed. The children’s cries for their mother were audible as witnesses questioned the police’s actions.

The police had mistakenly identified Gilliam’s car’s license plate as matching that of a stolen vehicle from another state. Once they realized their error, officers promptly uncuffed everyone involved, according to Aurora’s police chief, Vanessa Wilson.

David Lane, the family’s lawyer, confirmed on Monday that a settlement had been reached with the city of Aurora. “All parties are very satisfied with this settlement,” he stated.

A spokesperson for the Aurora Police Department emphasized the agency’s commitment to improving community relations through accountability and service enhancements.

“We’ve been pushing Aurora for years to shift their focus from the gun range to the law library,” Lane remarked to The Washington Post.

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