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Aurora Police Settle with Black Girls Handcuffed in Case of Mistaken Identity

Black girls handcuffed by Colorado Police

Family of Black girls handcuffed by Colorado police, held at gunpoint reach $1.9 million settlement.
The settlement, which follows the family’s lawsuit against the Aurora Police Department and the city, addresses the suffering the 6–17-year-old girls suffered during the unjust arrest. The family’s attorney, David Lane, was pleased with the settlement and stressed police accountability.

“All parties are very satisfied with this settlement,” Lane said.

The lawsuit began when police mistook Brittney Gilliam’s automobile for stolen. Gilliam took her nieces, sister, and 6-year-old daughter Lovely to the nail shop. After the salon closed, they returned to their car to see armed officers.

The arrest video showed Gilliam, Lovely, and their family members lying face down on the ground when authorities arrested them. Due of Lovely’s little hands, one officer neglected to handcuff her, adding to her trauma.

Family sued for trauma and emotional anguish after the occurrence. The $1.9 million payment will be split evenly between Brittney Gilliam and the four girls, with some going into annuities.

Although the officers involved did not commit any crimes, prosecutors said the episode was preventable and advised the police agency to reassess its practices. The cops involved in the erroneous arrest, Darian Dasko and Madisen Moen, were disciplined, with Dasko getting a 160-hour suspension.

The settlement brings police misconduct victims accountability and money, but it also highlights systematic bias in law enforcement. Moving ahead, we must prevent such instances and address bigotry and discrimination.

After the settlement, the Aurora Police Department pledged to improve community relations and accountability.

“The Aurora Police Department remains committed to strengthening the community relationship through accountability and continuously improving how it serves the public,” it said.

The Aurora police handcuffing of Black girls highlights the need for law enforcement reform to treat all people with dignity and respect, regardless of color or background. As communities nationwide seek justice and equality, fundamental inequalities must be addressed to create a more equitable society.

Police reform and racial justice organizations applauded the settlement. Many say more has to be done to combat systemic racism and police brutality.

The Aurora Black teens’ unlawful arrest is only one example of law enforcement’s nationwide racial bias. Studies have revealed that police stop, search, and use force more often against people of race, particularly Black people.

These examples also demonstrate the necessity for police accountability and monitoring. Some say the cops engaged in the incident were disciplined too little to address systemic flaws.

Police reform has become more popular, with calls for openness, community monitoring, and resource reallocation from policing to social services and community investment. Advocates say these measures are needed to address police violence and discrimination’s root causes.

The deal also emphasizes public institution accountability. Aurora is embracing accountability and healing by compensating police misconduct victims and admitting the harm done.

Unfortunately, financial settlements alone cannot alter our criminal justice system’s deep-rooted prejudice and injustice. Addressing implicit prejudice, improving police training, and empowering communities are necessary for systemic changes.

Local, state, and federal reforms have progressed in recent years. Many police departments have implemented community policing, implicit bias training, and body cams.

Meaningful and sustained change requires additional work. Addressing police militarization, abolishing qualified immunity for officers, and redesigning public safety to promote community well-being and dignity are all part of this.

The Aurora police handcuffing of Black girls highlights the need for criminal justice reform. We can only construct a just, egalitarian, and inclusive society then.

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Written by Jamil Johnson