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Grand Jury finds Colorado Springs Police officers "legally justified" in fatal shooting of De'Von Bailey

Posted: 5:06 PM, Nov 13, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-14 12:36:28-05
Still image of Bailey shooting
Community letter from CSPD Chief Vince Niski

COLORADO SPRINGS — The 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office announced Wednesday afternoon the results of the grand jury's look into the shooting of De'Von Bailey by Colorado Springs Police officers earlier this year. Dan May says the grand jury found the officers were legally justified in the fatal shooting.

The case was referred to the grand jury in October following weeks of calls for an independent investigation. The family and attorneys argued against having the El Paso County Sheriff's Office investigate the case and the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office making the call on whether the shooting was justified or not. Governor Polis also publicly stated his support for an independent investigation.

However, the manner in which the investigation was handled is exactly how state law says officer involved shootings should be handled.

The Bailey family attorney, Mari Newman, offered the following statement after the grand jury decision was announced.

"We are not one bit surprised. This is the exact outcome you would expect when you have a tainted investigation presented by a biased prosecutor. This is the precise reason we’ve been calling for an independent prosecutor from the beginning. When the system refuses to police themselves, citizens need to stand up for their constitutional rights."

CSPD Chief Vince Niski also released a letter to the community following the grand jury decision. You can see that statement here. You can also find it listed above with the other images and video.

"There is no doubt that the community of Colorado Springs has been tested over the last few month. What happened on August 3, 2019, is something neither police officers nor citizens want to experience. The loss of a son, a friend, a community member, is a devestating event that impacts all of us." - Colorado Springs Police Chief Vince Niski.

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 video and 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.

RELATED:

New calls for independent investigation into Bailey case
FBI reviewing facts in De'Von Bailey shooting to determine if there was a federal civil rights violation
City Council hears public comment on De'Von Bailey shooting
Family attorney releases copy of De'Von Bailey autopsy, shows 4 gunshot wounds
'That's essentially the fox guarding the hen house,' says Bailey family lawyer on investigation