Black Mother Speaks Out After Aurora Cop Who Held Her Kids at Gunpoint Runs for Sheriff
*The Aurora, Colorado police officer who was captured on camera last year harassing a Black family that he thought had stolen a car has again caused controversy after announcing he’s running for sheriff.
We previously reported… Brittany Gilliam said she was scrolling through her phone to find another nail salon when an Aurora police officer approached her car. She said, “He proceeded to handcuff me and I saw him handcuff the kids, so I started getting angry. ‘Why are you handcuffing kids for?’”
Her 12-year-old sister and 17-year-old niece were handcuffed while lying on the parking lot asphalt. Her 6-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old niece were also obeying police commands to lay on the ground.
Watch the entire raw footage of the incident filmed by witness Jenni Wurtz below.
Aurora police said they conducted a high-risk stop because of a suspected stolen vehicle. Gilliam’s car had the same license plate number, but wrong state, for the vehicle officers were looking for. Also, the suspected stolen vehicle was reportedly a motorcycle.
“I’m livid. I’m angry,” said Gilliam after video of the incident went viral. “Those kids are not OK. They’re never going to be OK. That was a traumatic experience. Would your kids be OK after that? Having a gun pulled on them and laid on the ground. Especially a 6-year-old.”
Wurtz told Denver’s CBS4 of the video recording, “I actually didn’t know what I was watching when I first started seeing what was happening. I’d never seen a gun that close. I went from seeing kids in a car to seeing a gun pointed at the kids in the car. I called my husband and said ‘I don’t know what I’m looking at,’ and he said ‘Hang up and start recording.’”
“They were screaming for their mom and again, this was all a big misunderstanding, so in their mind they’re getting their nails done. It was all happening so fast and something about it was like, this is not right. These kids have no idea what is happening,” Wurtz said.
Gilliam, 30, tells The Daily Beast that she pleaded with Officer Darian Dasko to let her prove she owned the car after she was removed from it but he ignored her. She was disheartened to learn that he has submitted paperwork to run for sheriff of Las Animas County.
“I don’t know personally what type of person he is, but I don’t think he’s qualified,” Gilliam said. “I just know that he traumatized me and four kids. I can only go based off of that.”
Gilliam said she’ll never forget his callus nature as she pleaded with him to get the kids off the hot asphalt.
“That’s the part that stays with me,” she said. “I did not see humanity in that at all.”
She finds his decision to seek the sheriff’s job less than a year after the incident quite troubling.
“It’s not humble, it’s not ownership, it’s not how I would teach my kids to behave either. I just think that the kindest thing he could do is not be in that position,” she said. “It just shows a lack of accountability.”
Meanwhile, Heidi Dasko, the officer’s mother, defended the way her son treated Gilliam and the kids. In a text message to the outlet she said her son “he followed his training” and “treated everyone with respect.”
The election for sheriff of Las Animas County will take place in 2022.