COLORADO SPRINGS — Two months after Colorado Springs police shot and killed De'Von Bailey, 19, the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office announced on Twitter that it will hand the case over to a grand jury.
This decision should not be confused with a trial. This is simply a proceeding to determine whether charges are warranted.
Bailey was shot after running away from officers who were conducting a criminal investigation into an alleged armed robbery.
"A whole lot of people could have done more to make sure that this didn't happen," Shaun Wells, a family friend of De'Von Bailey said.
Wells expressed his disappointment Friday with the case being handed over to a grand jury without an independent outside review of the facts.
For several weeks, he and a group of protesters demanded an agency other than the El Paso County Sheriff's Office investigate what happened.
"A grand jury's ability to make a decision is only as good as the information that's provided to it," Mari Neuman, an attorney for the Bailey family said. "This case still needs to be turned over for a fully independent investigation, by an independent decision making body, not El Paso County Sheriff's who have worked in the same Colorado Springs Police Department that killed De'Von Bailey."
Gov. Jared Polis also publicly asked for the DA's Office to hand the case over for an independent review in order to keep the public's trust.
While this did not happen, District Attorney Dan May is allowing a grand jury to make a charging decision.
"What a grand jury does is review evidence and determine whether or not there is probable cause to indict somebody with alleged criminal activity," litigation attorney Christine Lagle said.
Handing an officer-involved shooting over to a grand jury is rare. We're only aware of one case in which a CSPD shooting was given to a grand jury for review in the last 5 years.
Lagle, who is not an attorney affiliated with this case, wants to reiterate that a grand jury decision is not part of a trial.
"The prosecution will put on a case," she said. "The prosecution will then have witnesses come in and present evidence. The grand jury actually has the power to subpoena witnesses to come in and testify and the prosecution is really the only side that gets to present any evidence in the case."
The Bailey family is still calling for an outside agency to investigate the shooting.
The Colorado Springs Police Department released the following statement Friday:
The Colorado Springs Police Department views the decision made by the Fourth Judicial District Attorney’s Office as the next step in this process. From the beginning, we have remained committed to following the investigative and judicial processes set forth by law; as we have with all other officer involved shooting incidents. We will continue to follow and abide by this process until its completion.
News 5 broke this story just before 1 p.m. Friday. You can read our original web story here.