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Protesters hold 'funeral procession' honoring people they say were victims of police violence

March from City Hall to Police Operations Center
Protesters hold 'funeral procession' honoring people they say were victims of police violence
Posted at 2:00 AM, Jun 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-12 04:00:27-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — At about the same time as a special work session held by Colorado Springs City Council on Thursday regarding a Police Advisory Committee, protesters marched in honor of people they say are victims of police violence.

Protesters displayed symbols, like cardboard coffins with flowers inside, at both City Hall and the Police Operations Center. "This is an actual funeral service for those who have been slain by CSPD... To allow this community to release some energy, that has been pent up from the mourning that they have been experiencing time and time again in this city," said Stephany Rose Spaulding, who led the procession.

Spaulding said the community has lost trust in the Colorado Springs Police Department. "If justice doesn't look like righteousness, then the law needs to change," said Spaulding.

Meanwhile, other people involved with the event said the physical symbols they used are there to prove a point. "Remind them that it's not 1,000 miles away," said Shaun Walls.

News5 reached out to the Colorado Springs Police Department, which said the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office would be best to answer questions about the process that follows an officer-involved shooting. The DA's office said law enforcement performs the actual investigation, and their findings are sent to the DA's office, which decides whether or not to file charges, or send it to a grand jury.

2015 legislation requires the agency that investigates an officer-involved shooting be different than the one involved in it. So, incidents involving the Colorado Springs Police Department would be investigated by the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, and vice versa. News5 took a closer look at this process in more detail following De'Von Bailey's death.

Spaulding spoke about why this work is so personally important to her. "I know the anxiety and the terror as an African American woman, and the possibility of having the wrong encounter with police here, not just in Colorado Springs, but in this nation," said Spaulding.

Walls said there is a thin line between what is right legally and morally. "We need to look at what our morality is in this situation, because that's the problem, when we don't recognize that these are human beings," said Walls.

Also outside of City Hall, a passionate conversation between protesters and City Councilman David Geislinger ensued. Geislinger told the crowd, "stick to your guns, it is working."

Several protesters addressed Geislinger, with one saying, "This is our time. You guys changed your meeting time coincidentally to meet with the time that we wanted to honor the lives that CSPD stole, so I'm going to yield our time back so we can continue to enjoy our festivities. I want you to know we see you, we understand that you've ignored our requests, you're postponing things. As your constituents, you know votes get you in there right?"

City Council said the soonest the community could expect a plan regarding the Police Advisory Committee is this Tuesday.