Recently released body camera video shows Sgt. Ed Acuti unleashing a profanity-laden tirade against a 17-year-old girl. She was driving when police pulled her over for speeding, and her male passenger fled and dropped a loaded gun with an extended magazine.
The department said the incident began when its Gang Intervention Unit stopped a vehicle for a speeding violation.
Once the driver stops, officers request that the male passenger exit the vehicle. He flees and drops a loaded gun, according to police.
The 17-year-old driver, a girl, stays on the scene and is detained. She becomes emotional, crying, screaming and asking the police to call her mother. She also repeatedly expresses concern that her son has a gash on his head.
The sergeant at one point yells at the girl to “shut the f— up.”
“Y’all kill people! Call my mom!” she yells at one point. “If I wanted to run, you think I would have pulled over?”
She expresses that she’s scared, and the officer calmly tells her to take a deep breath and relax. “There’s nothing to be scared of,” he tells her.
The girl continues to cry and scream, asking police to call her mom and yelling profanities at the officers. At one point, he point yells “f— you” back at her.
What the officer says at one point:
“You think I’m out here playing f—ing games? You’re out of your f—ing mind, and I’ll tell your mom the same f—ing thing. I’m sure your mom would be real happy that your f—ing man’s got a gun in his f—ing waistband, running around f—ing town. Right? Whose f—ing car is this? Tell me! Whose f—ing car is this? ‘Cause it’s gonna go to the f—ing impound and I don’t give a f— how you get around. Are we f—ing clear? You better keep your f—ing mouth shut. I’ll make your life a living f—ing hell from this f—ing (slams the car with his hand) day forward. You wanted it? You f—ing earned it. I don’t care how the f— old you are. Let that f—ing sink in.”
Here is the Aurora Police Department’s full statement on what happened:
“The Aurora Police Department is finalizing an Internal Affairs (IA) investigation alleging unprofessional conduct by a supervisor during a traffic stop. The investigation began after another officer reported the misconduct. After viewing the footage Chief Wilson was deeply concerned by what she saw and immediately ordered the Investigation into the incident and placed the supervisor, Sergeant Ed Acuti, on administrative leave. APD received a request to release the body-worn camera footage of the incident. The footage was released to comply with HB 21-1250 and met the 21-day deadline.
“On June 29, 2021, officers from the Gang Intervention Unit (GIU) conducted a traffic stop in the area of East 2nd and North Airport Blvd for a speeding violation. During the traffic stop, officers requested the male passenger to exit the vehicle. The male ran from officers, and while doing so, dropped a loaded, stolen firearm which Sergeant Ed Acuti recovered.”
Aurora Chief of Police Vanessa Wilson said, “In every interaction, we must strive to treat individuals with respect and remain professional,I commend the officers that are unwilling to compromise their integrity and continue to report misconduct that jeopardizes the work we, as an agency, are trying to accomplish with our community.’”
The teen girl was transported to the Aurora Jail and released that same evening. She was charged with speeding, driving without a valid license, and obstructing a peace officer.
Unfortunately, the video proves that parents must teach their children how to interact with police officers in order to ensure the smoothest encounter possible for their own sake. Of course, it would probably be best if they also instilled in their children general respect for the law.
Police officers aren’t trained to be therapists. Their responsibility is to enforce the law and protect civilians from lawbreakers. Sometimes, the tactics to accomplish this job aren’t pretty. Sadly, officers are finding it more and more difficult to carry out their duties without the constant fear of a backlash from the outrage mob.
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