Black mum and family handcuffed at gunpoint 'for no reason' by police on day out
A black woman with her family who was removed from her car and handcuffed at gunpoint by officers is now suing police, it is reported.
Brittney Gilliam was out with her 17-year-old sister, her six-year-old daughter and her nieces, 12 and 14, for a "Sunday funday" when the alleged incident happened.
A lawsuit claims officers - with their guns drawn - in Aurora, Colorado, ordered Brittney and the girls to lie face down on the ground.
Shocking footage which has circulated online appears to show four people on the ground, some handcuffed, crying and screaming.
Brittney was planning a day out with the family to get their nails done and then go for an ice cream afterwards.
They went to one salon but when they saw it was closed they sat in the parked car while Brittney looked for another salon on her phone.
That's when they were allegedly ordered to get out of the car.
On Monday Brittney filed a civil lawsuit against the city and police regarding the incident in August.
The lawsuit alleges that officers searched her and the girls at gunpoint without probable cause or evidence of a crime and targeted them because they are black, NBC reports.
The lawsuit says: "The deplorable fact that multiple Aurora police officers held innocent black children handcuffed and at gunpoint, and multiple other officers did not intervene, is evidence of the profound and systematic problem of racism and brutality within APD."
The Aurora Police Department said officers had conducted a "traffic stop" believing that Brittney had stolen her vehicle as it had the same licence plate number as a stolen motorbike.
But officers realised later the motorbike had plates from a different state, according to reports.
The lawsuit is the first under Colorado's new civil rights statute, which eliminates qualified immunity for police, according to Brittney's lawyer.
Reports say the city has not been served with the lawsuit and has not commented on pending litigation.
Ryan Luby, Aurora's deputy director of communications, told NBC the department is committed to ongoing reviews of the practices of Aurora Police.
"City leadership and Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson have previously expressed that this incident is not reflective of their expectations for the Aurora Police Department," Luby said.
"Chief Wilson has apologized to Ms. Gilliam directly and offered to cover the cost of providing age-appropriate therapy to the children involved."
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