Suburban Denver police officers will not face charges after detaining four Black girls by gunpoint and handcuffing two of them after wrongly suspecting they were riding in a stolen car, the Associated Press reports. Meanwhile, the Colorado attorney general opened a grand jury investigation Friday into the death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man who was stopped as he walked down the street, placed in a neck hold and injected with a sedative in 2019. Both episodes involved officers from the Aurora Police Department and drew national attention. In the case of the girls lying face down in a parking lot, the district attorney found no evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that the officers acted unlawfully during the Aug. 2 traffic stop.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Clinton McKinzie called it “disturbing” and urged the Police Department to to ensure something similar doesn’t happen again. “What happened to the innocent occupants is unacceptable and preventable,” McKinzie wrote. Police eventually determined the car carrying the girls, who ranged from 6 to 17, had the same license plate number as a motorcycle they were seeking from another state. David Lane, a lawyer for the driver and the girls, said, “When white cops point guns at small Black children, there are no consequences in America.” In the McClain case, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser opened a grand jury investigation. Police stopped McClain as he walked home on Aug. 29, 2019, after a 911 caller reported someone wearing a ski mask and waving his hands. His family said McClain wore the mask because he had a blood condition that caused him to get cold easily.Body-camera video shows an officer telling McClain to stop because he was “being suspicious.” Police say McClain fought back when officers tried to take him into custody.