Denver (US), August 8
Prosecutors are investigating whether or not suburban Denver cops ought to face prison expenses for placing 4 Black women on the bottom and handcuffing two of them after mistakenly suspecting they had been using in a stolen automobile, a district lawyer mentioned Friday.
The incident Sunday attracted nationwide consideration after a video of the women — some in tears — being detained in a car parking zone unfold on social media.
The site visitors cease occurred in Aurora, the place officers are additionally being investigated following the demise of 23-year-old Elijah McClain after he was positioned in a chokehold final 12 months.
In the Sunday incident, officers finally decided the automobile carrying the women, ranging in age from 6 to 17, had the identical license plate quantity because the one they had been looking for from one other state.
Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson and the division are cooperating with the investigation, 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler mentioned in his announcement.
He known as the general public accounts of the confrontation “very concerning.” “Everyone is entitled to be treated equally under the law,” he said. “No one is above the law. If our investigation determines that the officers involved committed a crime, I will not hesitate to file charges and prosecute them.” Brauchler is a Republican and a vocal defender of legislation enforcement, however earlier this 12 months he criticized members of Aurora’s police division for serving to defend an officer discovered handed out in his patrol automobile from prison prosecution for suspected consuming and driving.
Aurora police apologised after the video taken by a bystander confirmed the women, with the 17-year-old and a 12-year-old mendacity on their stomachs with their arms cuffed behind their backs. A 14-year-old lady was mendacity subsequent to the 6-year-old, additionally on their stomachs subsequent to the automobile.
They might be heard crying and screaming as officers stand with their backs to the digicam. A girl on the opposite aspect of the automobile is seen being led away in handcuffs.
An officer finally helped the handcuffed women sit up however left them with their arms behind their backs, and police finally decided that they had stopped the mistaken automobile. Part of the explanation for the mix-up might need been that the automobile had been reported as stolen earlier within the 12 months, police mentioned.
Driver Brittney Gilliam, who had taken her nieces, sister and daughter out for a day at a nail salon, has characterised the officers’ actions as police brutality.
“There’s no excuse why you didn’t handle it a different type of way,” Gilliam informed KUSA-TV.
“You could have even told them ‘step off to the side, let me ask your mom or your auntie a few questions so we can get this cleared up.’ There was different ways to handle it.” Jennifer Wurtz, who shot the video, mentioned on digicam that the police drew weapons as they initially approached the automobile.
Wilson, who was named chief of the Aurora Police Department this week after serving as its interim chief, informed The Associated Press earlier this week she was “offended and disgusted” like others who’ve seen the video and mentioned Friday she welcomed the investigation, which coincides with an inner investigation she ordered.
“I’ve promised transparency to a group who not solely calls for it, however deserves it,” she mentioned.
Police are instructed to attract their weapons and put occupants on the bottom when coping with a suspected stolen automobile, however Wilson has mentioned they need to have modified course after Gilliam mentioned the automobile was not stolen and that she had youngsters inside.
McClain died after he was stopped by police who put him in a chokehold earlier than paramedics gave him a drug to calm him down. McClain suffered cardiac arrest and was later taken off life assist.
The Colorado lawyer normal is investigating after a county prosecutor mentioned final 12 months there wasn’t sufficient proof to cost the officers. AP