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Officers from the Aurora Police Department racially profiled, handcuffed and detained an innocent Black family at gun point after allegedly mistaking their SUV for a stolen motorcycle. The Aurora Police Department issued an apology on Monday (Aug. 3) as video of the traumatic incident circulated the web.
Brittany Gilliam was taking her 6-year-old daughter, 12-year-old sister, and 14 and 17-year-old nieces to get their nails done on Sunday (Aug. 2), when police pulled up behind them with weapons drawn and demanded that they get out of the car. Video footage shows Gilliam and the girls on the ground in handcuffs. The children are heard screaming and crying during the incident.
Aurora PD terrorized a Black family at gun point after they "mistook" their car for a stolen one.
They had no reason to run the plate in the first place. This is racial profiling.pic.twitter.com/uvJz4q9haE
— A Black Socialist 🌹🏴☠️ (@SonOfAssata) August 4, 2020
Police allege that Gilliam’s car matched the description and license plate of a stolen vehicle. Her vehicle had been stolen in February but was found and returned by police within a day. In an interview with CNN, Gilliam stated that she offered to show cops her registration and insurance paperwork to prove that the car was not stolen.
APD released a statement explaining the apparent mix up. “We first want to offer our apologies to the family involved in a police stop of their vehicle yesterday, “the department said detailing how police were “notified of a stolen vehicle” in the area and found Gilliam’s vehicle matched the license plate number and the vehicle description. “The people in the car were ordered out onto the ground, and some were placed in handcuffs. Shortly after that, Officers determined that the car was not stolen.
“There is a stolen vehicle with the same plate information, but from a different state,” the statement continues. “The confusion may have been due, in part, to the fact that the stopped car was reported stolen earlier in the year. After realizing the mistake, officers immediately unhand cuffed everyone involved, explained what happened and apologized. An internal investigation has been opened, and an examination of training and procedures is underway.”
APD’s newly-appointed police Chief Vanessa Wilson said that she had been in contact with the family to personally apologize. “I have called (Gilliam's) family to apologize and to offer any help we can provide, especially for the children who may have been traumatized by yesterday's events. I have reached out to our victim advocates so we can offer age-appropriate therapy that the city will cover.”
The department has come under fire for racial profiling, excessive force and police brutality, most notably after the death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old massage therapist who died after an encounter with police last year while he was walking home from the store. McClain was placed in two chokeholds after police confronted him. Officer body cam footage recorded McClain telling the officers that he couldn’t breathe. He later suffered cardiac arrest and died three days after the fatal run-in. In contrast, Colorado police safely apprehended white gunman James Holmes after he brutally murdered a dozen people at an Aurora movie theater in 2012.
More than a full year after McClain’s death, the case is being re-examined amid ongoing demands for justice and an online petition that has received more than 4.9 million signatures and counting. In June, four Aurora police officers were fired after photos surfaced of them mocking the deadly chokehold used on McClain.
Michelle Obama kicked off her podcast this week with a very special guest. The former first lady welcomed her husband, Barack Obama, for a lengthy discussion about their childhood, as it relates to race and class, experiences that shaped their “notion of community,” and more.
Barack tweeted a photo from the podcast on Thursday (July 29) with the caption,. “Michelle and I have spent a lot of time together these past few months. We’ve had a lot of good talks — and this one’s up there with the best.”
Michelle and I have spent a lot of time together these past few months. We’ve had a lot of good talks—and this one’s up there with the best. Take a listen to the very first episode of Michelle’s podcast: https://t.co/JEaVgT6GPC. pic.twitter.com/oRn1figrRK
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 29, 2020
The podcast aims to give listeners deeper insight into Mrs. Obama's life. “I spent a lot of time thinking, talking with friends and family,” she explained of her life after the White House. “Really just being, if you know what I mean. I reflected back on my time in the White House of course, but I went even deeper. I looked back at the whole arc of my life.
“In this first season, you’ll be hearing me talk with some of the people I’m closest with — my mom…my brothers…friends..colleagues. And I wanted to start at the most basic level. In these episodes, we’ll be discussing the relationships that make us who we are. Sometimes that might be as personal as our relationship with ourselves or how we navigate our health and our bodies at various points in our lives,” said Mrs. Obama. “In other episodes we’ll be talking about what the challenges and the joys of being a parent or a spouse…the growth we gain from leaning on colleagues and mentors…the friends that help us sort through the toughest times.”
Click here to listen to the first episode of The Michelle Obama Podcast.
YG has had his share of run-ins with police, but one incident was particularly harrowing for the Compton native. In an interview with The Morning Hustle, YG opened up about his home being raided and police pulling guns on his young daughters.
The incident occurred in January, a day after the 30-year-old rapper was briefly arrested for suspicion of robbery. “They came through like four in the morning,” he recalled. “We asleep, the helicopter came around and all that..they bang the door in trying to get in the door, so I go downstairs, I open the door…boom! They drew [guns] on me. That’s normal, but my kids at the time [were] 4 years old and 6 [months old]. They were upstairs in the room with their mama.”
Cops went upstairs where his children were in the room with their mother. “They go up in the room and they got the big AK’s all up in my little kids’ faces [yelling] ‘Don’t move! I’m like ‘bro, what the f*ck is ya’ll doing? Ya’ll got me f*cked up! They doing this to my little kids…and these are little girls, you know what I’m saying?
“I’ve been through a lot of other stuff with the police but I’m from the streets though so it’s like I got a target on my back from that and I know that,” he continued. “When you from a certain area the police gon’ f*ck with you.”
YG added that he’s never been beaten by police, but at least two of his friends have been killed by cops. “It’s a lot of stuff that be going on with the police that don’t make the news, he said. “That activity [being targeted by police] became normal to us. [We’ve] dealt with that for a long time. It’s sad to say but when you’re Black, you feel like that’s what comes with being Black.”
The incident was the second time that police raided his home in the last year. In July 2019, authorities raided the residence in connection with a shooting investigation. YG was not involved in the investigation and was not home at the time.
Watch his full interview below.