The Aurora Police Department, which is located in Colorado, has gained national attention yet again for the manner in which officers handled a traffic stop. The Washington Post reported that on Sunday morning, several family members, all of which were Black, hopped into an SUV and headed out to go and get their nails done together. However, before they were able to locate an open salon, they were ordered at gunpoint to get onto the pavement in a parking lot.

The news source says police were allegedly notified that there was a possible stolen vehicle near a strip mall on Aurora’s Iliff Avenue which prompted the department to dispatch officers to the area. When they arrived, police claim they found a vehicle that matched the physical description and license plate number they had been given. At that time, Brittney Gilliam had been loading the girls, who ranged in age from 12 to 17, back into the vehicle after realizing the nail salon they had found was still closed. But as the family was getting back into the vehicle, they were approached from behind by officers with their guns drawn.

The source says Gilliam was then led away and questioned while two of the girls were handcuffed and all four were ordered to lie face down on the pavement. A bystander managed to capture the incident on video and shared it via social media for the public to see. In the video, which quickly drew attention and sparked outrage, shows several officers standing over the four girls with their guns in hand. Two of the girls are heard sobbing and one even asks if she can get closer to her sister. Eventually, the officers ask the children if they would like to sit up and officers are then seen helping them sit upright but still keeps the two girls in cuffs.


It was a mistake.


A day after the unfortunate incident unfolded, the Aurora Police Department issued a statement saying that officers had gotten mixed up because Gilliam’s vehicle had been reported stolen earlier in the year but was found the next day. The license plate number also matched the license plate of a motorcycle from Montana that was stolen that same day. The department’s interim chief, Vanessa Wilson, quickly took to Twitter to issue a public apology for the mix-up. While the officers may have been following the procedures they were taught for handling a situation involving a stolen vehicle, Wilson says police must “be allowed to deviate from the written procedure depending on the different scenarios they face in the field.” 

Although Wilson did apologize to Gilliam and even offered therapy services to the children involved in the incident, Gilliam is alleging police brutality and had already filed a complaint.


If an Aurora, Colorado police officer mistreated you in any way during a routine traffic stop or another encounter, the CO police brutality attorneys at Bryan & Terrill Law, PLLC want to help you understand your legal rights. Police officers have a duty to protect and serve, not violate rights and mistreat those they come in contact with. If a CO officer harmed you physically or psychologically, the lawyers at Bryan & Terrill Law, PLLC are prepared to help you build your case.


Bryan & Terrill Law, PLLC can be reached at:


333 W. Hampden Avenue, #420B

Englewood, CO 80110

Phone: 720-923-2333