Colorado Family Mistakenly Handcuffed and Detained
A mother and several children were handcuffed and detained in Aurora Sunday morning after police confused their SUV with a stolen motorcycle.
According to police, the current policy with regard to stolen vehicles is known as a high-risk stop, at which officers are instructed to draw their weapons, remove all occupants from the vehicle and force them to lay on the ground.
Apparently, this is exactly what happened, as after scanning the mother's license plate, the vehicle appeared to have the same license plate number of a stolen motorcycle from another state. However, the officers allegedly didn't check the description of the vehicle and detained the family.
The mother and several children were taken out of the vehicle, handcuffed, and placed on the ground as around a dozen officers stood around with their guns drawn, with more officers arriving on the scene.
One witness, Jenni Wurtz, filmed the incident and can be heard trying to reason with the officers. Wurtz is heard saying:
Why are you now placing these children on the ground face into the concrete? It's hot! In front of all of us? Screaming at them. They are telling you they are hurt.
Aurora Police Chief Wilson blames the license plate reader for the incident and expressed remorse and sympathy for the family:
I do not think a stolen vehicle is worth traumatizing the lives of children. On top of that, I was 20 feet away with a drawn gun. They didn't even tell me to move, secure the scene. They didn't do anything.
Wilson also said that she plans to change the current protocol with regard to stolen vehicles when children are involved, and Wurtz has since filed a complaint with internal affairs.