Body Camera Footage In De'Von Bailey Shooting Released
The Colorado Springs Police Department has released body camera footage and other information related to the officer-involved shooting that resulted in the death 19-year-old De'Von Bailey. The shooting sparked community rallies, a call for patience from Mayor John Suthers and a press conference with the family.
On August 3, CSPD officers responded to a robbery call. The person who reported being robbed called 9-1-1 and identified two suspects, both as black men. He said one of them had a gun and that they were on foot in the area.
The body camera footage shows officers stopping two young men who matched the suspect descriptions. One of them was Bailey.
Both men put their hands up when directed by police.
"So we got a report of two people with similar descriptions possibly having a gun, alright," one of the officers says. "So don't reach for your waist, we're just going to check and make sure you don't have a weapon, alright?"
A separate officer approaches Bailey to check him for a weapon, but the video shows him running away before officers can conduct a search. A footchase ensues and from certain camera angles it appears that Bailey could be putting his hands near his waistband. The officer yells three times for Bailey to put his hands up before shooting at him multiple times. Bailey then collapses on the street and again puts his hands up. It appears he was shot the back.
After he is in handcuffs, the body cam video shows officers finding what they say is a gun in Bailey's pants between his legs.
The police department identified the officers who discharged their weapons as Sergeant Alan Van’t Land and Officer Blake Evenson. Van’t Land has been employed with the Colorado Springs Police Department since 2008; Evenson since 2012.
The Associated Press reports that Darold Killmer, a lawyer for the Bailey family, said that he thinks the officer used excessive force and that Bailey "was doing everything in his power … to get away."
"He did not have a weapon in his hand and had not shown any weapon when he was shot and killed," Killmer told the Associated Press. "The police appear to argue that they shot Mr. Bailey because they feared he was going for a gun at the time. We think the video shows otherwise."
In a statement posted on Facebook on behalf of the Bailey family, Pastor Promise Lee says "the family is devastated at having seen this evidence of the wholly unjustified killing of their beloved family member."
They are requesting privacy from the media as services for Bailey are being held Thursday and Friday.
The El Paso County Sheriff's Office has concluded its investigation into the shooting and has turned in its findings to the district attorney's office. The Bailey family is calling for an independent investigation by the state attorney general, suggesting there's a conflict of interest between the police department, sheriff's office, and the D.A.s office. They are also requesting the district attorney refer the matter to a grand jury to decide whether or not to bring charges.
The district attorney's office says it is committed to a thorough and fair review of the evidence and may conduct follow-up interviews and additional testing and analysis. In an emailed statement, the agency says typically investigations into officer-involved shootings take up to 120 days, though it could take longer.
The D.A.s office says it's been in contact with the Bailey family and will keep them apprised. Once complete, the district attorney will either file charges, rule the shooting as justified or refer the matter to a grand jury.
In an autopsy report [.pdf], the El Paso County Coroner classified Bailey's death as the result of multiple gunshot wounds. The report says Bailey had three gunshot wounds in the back and one in the right arm.
You can find all the information provided by the police department on the city's website. Below is the video put together by the police department, which includes the body camera footage. WARNING: The video is graphic and viewer discretion is advised.
Correction: This story originally said the autopsy report listed four gunshot wounds in the back. It has been corrected to three.
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