COLORADO SPRINGS — The law firm representing the family of De'Von Bailey commented on the Colorado Springs Police Department's release of body camera video of the fatal officer-involved shooting of the 19-year-old.
Attorneys Darold Killmer and Mari Newman addressed reporters, and said the body camera video showed that Bailey was not presenting a threat to officers at the scene. Killmer argued that it was not obvious that Bailey was reaching for a gun in his waistband, therefore he argued police were not justified in shooting and killing Bailey.
"Even in this case there could be a sincere concern for the safety of the community," Killmer said. "But that is not the legal standard that officers are held to. Officers are trained to be restrained, restraint on their use of force and to use less than deadly force except when it's absolutely necessary."
The video showed two officers chasing Bailey and firing shots while his hands were near his waistband. It's difficult to know exactly how many shots were fired at the scene. The body camera video showed police cut away Bailey's pants while he was handcuffed and bleeding in the street. Officers were seen recovering a gun at the scene. Authorities said they have stored the gun in evidence at this time.
A few hours after the news conference, the law firm sent out the full El Paso County Coroner's Office autopsy report. The coroner's report details 4 gunshot wounds to the back and lower right arm. "The wounds collectively perforated the heart, left lung, diaphragm, and penetrated the spleen, resulting in massive blood loss and his subsequent death."
Killmer repeatedly said the statute that police cited in their release of the video did not justify the shooting. "Police don't have unlimited right to use their guns to apprehend people. That's called using deadly force. A weapon, for obvious reasons, such as a gun, is deadly force," Killmer said.
Killmer also said he has not heard from the El Paso County Sheriff's Office about the status of the investigation, and he stressed that the investigation is not complete and no ruling has been made at this time.
"There an awful lot still unknown that we'll still have to analyze," Killmer said.
Killmer said his law firm has been in contact with witnesses and he said their accounts should be considered in the investigation as well as the interviews with police officers.
Killmer also echoed his earlier calls for an independent investigation led by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, a special prosecutor appointed by the Colorado Attorney General's office and a grand jury to decide whether to charge the officers involved in the shooting. Killmer has claimed investigators might have a conflict of interest when investigating the case.
The El Paso County Sheriff's Office did not comment on those claims earlier this week. Public Information Officer Natalie Sosa declined to comment and said the sheriff's office is following Colorado law by investigating the shooting.
Bailey's family were not available for comment Thursday. Killmer asked for the media to respect their privacy while they hold a visitation Thursday night and a funeral Friday for their 19-year-old son.
Watch the unedited video of the shooting
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