Photo: Via Joshua Rodriguez/Twitter
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Will the stories on police brutality ever make sense? Police officers have a duty to protect and serve, but sometimes, it seems as if the police only harass the innocent.
The latest story on police brutality comes from Aurora, Colorado. In a video that went viral, a group of officers held a African American family at gunpoint in a ‘high-risk’ stop. The driver of the vehicle, Brittany Gilliam, was taking the group of girls to the nail salon when officers surrounded the car.
Gilliam said that she, her sister, and 17-year-old niece were handcuffed while police verified that the car Gilliam was driving was not stolen, as reported by CNN. According to Vice, the youngest of the family was a 6-year-old girl.
The officers had believed that the vehicle was stolen. The Aurora Police Department has released a statement, apologizing for their carelessness.
“We have been training our officers that when they contact a suspected stolen car, they should do what is called a high-risk stop. This involves drawing their weapons and ordering all occupants to exit the car and lie prone on the ground,” the statement reads. “But we must allow our officers to have discretion and to deviate from this process when different scenarios present themselves.”
The issued apology doesn’t appease me. Social media was in an uproar over the incident, and many Twitter users expressed their thoughts, including Gabrielle Union.
Among all of the other violent, and sometimes fatal run-ins Black people have with the police, what disturbs me the most here is drawing a loaded weapon on children. The children can be heard crying in the video.
I can’t begin to imagine the trauma these children will have to deal with for the rest of their lives. It’s situations like these that distort perceptions of police officers.
There has to be another way. Driving while Black has proven to be deadly for African Americans. When I see those lights in my rearview, I can only imagine if I’ll be the next hashtag.