In 2020, #Aurora #police wrongly detained Brittney Gilliam and her four Black daughters at gunpoint, mistaking her car for stolen. This led to a $1.9 million settlement, resolving a lawsuit alleging racism in policing. The money will be split among them, with the girls' portions going into annuities. In a written statement, the city confirmed a deal had been reached.
Although prosecutors found no crimes, they criticized police actions, urging policy review. The incident, reminiscent of past racial injustices, sparked outrage and follows a $15 million payout in another case. A state investigation revealed systemic racial bias in the department. Gilliam hopes the settlement sends a message of accountability to the police. David Lane, a lawyer for the family, issued the same sentiment during a press conference.
"You can't be robocop and be an effective cop. You have to use common sense," Lane said.
Initially full of rage, Gilliam eventually found peace, inspired by the birth of her youngest daughter. The encounter left lasting scars, highlighting the need for police accountability and policy reform to prevent similar incidents.
Darian Dasko, one of the officers involved in the car stop, received a 160-hour suspension. Both Dasko and the other officer, Madisen Moen, continue to be employed by the department.
While financial compensation may provide some semblance of justice, it cannot undo the trauma inflicted upon the Gilliam family or address the systemic injustices perpetuating such egregious misconduct. The Aurora Police Department's failure to hold accountable officers responsible for the wrongful detention further underscores the dire necessity for #abolitionnow.