Family Of Black Girls Handcuffed By Aurora Police Win $1.9M Settlement

The city of Aurora, Colorado, has reached a $1.9 million settlement with the family of four Black girls who were mistakenly handcuffed at gunpoint by police in August 2020.

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According to the Associated Press, the settlement comes after the families of the young girls, ranging in age from 6 to 17, filed a lawsuit in 2021 against both the Aurora Police Department and the city, alleging that the officers’ actions caused lasting trauma on the family. They argued that the misconduct of the officers involved highlighted systemic racism within the police department.

“All parties are very satisfied with this settlement,” David Lane, a lawyer for the family told the Associated Press.

The city of Aurora also issued a statement, confirming news of the settlement.

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

 

What happened on the day of the arrest?

The incident unfolded when police mistook Brittney Gilliam’s car for a stolen vehicle. Gilliam had taken her nieces, sister, and her 6-year-old daughter Lovely Gilliam, out for a girls’ day at a nail salon. Upon finding the salon closed, they returned to their car only to be surrounded by police with weapons drawn.

Video footage of the arrest captured Brittney Gilliam, her daughter Lovely, and family members lying face down on the ground, screaming, as officers apprehended them. According to the lawsuit, one of the law enforcement officials tried to handcuff Lovely during the chaotic arrest but failed to do so because her hands were not big enough for handcuffs, USA Today noted. Gilliam, who was named as a plaintiff in the suit, claimed that she and the girls had trouble eating and sleeping after the scary incident.

The settlement spared the girls from the distress of revisiting the events in a trial. According to Lane, the $1.9 million settlement will be evenly split between Brittney Gilliam and the four girls. A portion of the reward will be placed into annuities, allowing the funds to accumulate, for Gilliam’s daughter, niece, and sister. The girls will have access to the money when they turn 18.

 

What happened to the officers involved?

An investigation by prosecutors concluded that the officers involved did not commit any crimes. Officials claimed that the officers were following all protocols for training related to the “high-risk stop” of a vehicle suspected to be stolen. However, prosecutors did admit that the incident was “unacceptable and preventable.” They urged the police department to review its policies to prevent such occurrences in the future.

Following the incident, Darian Dasko, an officer involved in the arrest, received a 160-hour suspension. Dasko and the other officer, Madisen Moen, remain employed by the department.

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The post Family Of Black Girls Handcuffed By Aurora Police Win $1.9M Settlement appeared first on NewsOne.

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