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City Council hears public comment on De'Von Bailey shooting

Posted at 9:40 AM, Sep 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-14 12:54:58-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — Five weeks after the officer-involved shooting that claimed the life of De'Von Bailey in southeastern Colorado Springs, city council members heard from family and friends of the teenager during a meeting Tuesday morning. They are demanding the investigation into the actions of Colorado Springs Police officers be investigated by an outside agency.

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office is managing the investigation, per state law, and turned over the evidence to the 4th Judicial District's Office for review on August 15. Any decision on how the incident was handled by officers is not expected to be released for several weeks.

A crowd of over 50 people packed council chambers Tuesday, with dozens lining up to speak to council members during citizen comment.

"Please don't dismiss," Reverend Promise Lee said. He is a community activist who has been leading peaceful demonstrations. "At some point I'm going to have to step aside and then we could have a Ferguson on our hands or a Charlottesville. I want you to know that is a powder keg that Colorado Springs is sitting on."

Supporters of the Bailey family have demanded the investigation be turned over to a third party for review. "Please, please, please look into this, because we're not going to sit back and let them kill our kids," said a woman speaking to city council.

Per state law, only District Attorney Dan May can call for an outside agency to manage the investigation. So far, Governor Jared Polis has voiced his support of including a third party in the process.

Mayor John Suthers replied via Twitter Tuesday afternoon with the following:

"We heard today from members of the community who are experiencing a great deal of emotion around the officer involved shooting of De’Von Bailey, and I empathize with all impacted. Regardless of the circumstances, the loss of a young life is very sad. It's not an outcome that is ever desired, and it's not an easy thing to process. I know there are very different perspectives on the incident itself and feelings of grief, anger and questioning that come from these different perspectives. As we await a legal resolution of this case, I urge our community to embrace a spirit of healing. As for calls for an independent investigation, as the Mayor, I do not have the authority to take the case from the elected DA. I also have no reason to urge it, as there is no legal or ethical conflict of interest that I am aware of. I would point out that the FBI and DOJ have jurisdiction to review the matter and it's my understanding that they are doing so." - Mayor John Suthers

Late Tuesday, Special Agent Amy Meyer of the FBI's Denver Field Office confirmed with News5 that the federal agency is "reviewing the facts surrounding the August 3, 2019 shooting incident in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The FBI has a responsibility to review all instances of officer involved shootings, and is doing so in communication with Colorado Springs Police Department, El Paso County Sheriff's Office, and the District Attorney's Office to independently collect and review evidence in determining if there has been a federal civil rights violation."

Watch the council meeting via their Facebook page, website, and on public access.

On August 3, CSPD officers were checking out a report of a robbery with a weapon. The officers contacted two males who matched the description provided by the witness. The rest of the incident was captured on Home surveillance videoand officer's body worn camera video.

De'Von Bailey and his cousin had their hands up as the officers approached. When they are asked if any one of them are armed, Bailey begins to run away. The officer with the bodycam chased Bailey and pulled out his weapon, yelling, "Hands up! Hands up!" That's when officers at the scene, identified as Sgt. Vant Land and Officer Evenson, chase and fire multiple shots at Bailey. It appears officers fired at least 8 times as Bailey had his back turned to them. Bailey fell to the ground and an officer again yelled, "Hands up! Hands up!" Bailey lifted one hand and then fell back to the ground.

The autopsy revealed Bailey was shot 4 times. Three bullets entered his torso, perforating several organs, including his heart, left lung and spleen. He died following massive blood loss.

In the body worn camera video, police are seen cutting away Bailey's pants, which show the outline of a gun. Investigators had previously told News5 a weapon was recovered from the scene and is being stored in evidence.