COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – After nearly two weeks, police in Colorado Springs released body camera video from a controversial deadly shooting. It comes after protests from the young man’s family and community demanding an independent investigation.
On Aug. 3, police stopped 19-year-old De’Von Bailey and another man on suspicion of taking part in an armed robbery. With information from the 911 caller, police had reason to believe Bailey may have been armed and attempted to search both men, Bailey took off and was shot and killed while running away from police.
An autopsy report released shortly after the body cam video states Bailey was shot four times, three times in his back and once in the back of the arm.
Raj Chohan is an attorney at the Max Law Firm and a former prosecutor in Colorado.
“On its face somebody might be inclined to say why did they shoot this young man in the back but when you look at the facts and some of the nuances happening in the context of that moment, the analysis becomes more difficult,” Chohan said.
CBS4 asked Chohan to analyze the footage and break down Colorado law that allows for the use of deadly force.
“If you are looking at the law what a reasonable officer would have done in that situation is going to be paramount that’s your key question,” he said.
Chohan says the video is telling but prosecutors deciding on whether or not to charge the officers involved will look at several factors: information the officers had on hand from that 911 call, which includes a description of a weapon as well as Bailey’s response as officers approach and after they detail their purpose.
“So, we have a report of two people similar descriptions having a gun alright? So, do not reach for your waists. We’re going to just check and make sure you don’t have a weapon alright,” the officer asks on camera.
“When the young man takes off, the officer is thinking there must be a reason that he is running. We are looking for a guy with a gun and now it looks like he might be reaching into his waistband,” Chohan said.
While the video captures the exchange and crucial moment shots are fired, there are a number of things the video does not show, all of which Chohan said will be considered.
“A video by itself is not always going to tell the whole story and it probably won’t in this case,” he said.
After Bailey falls to the ground, the video shows police retrieving a gun.
In a release, the District Attorney’s office in Colorado Springs says they are now reviewing the initial investigation from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office: “Our office takes Officer-Involved Shooting investigations very seriously, and we are committed to a thorough, fair and neutral review, which may include follow-up interviews, additional testing, and further analysis and examination of the evidence. Typically, an Officer-Involved Shooting investigation takes our office approximately 90-120 days to complete, sometimes longer, at which point we will issue a statement detailing our findings – either charges are filed, the shooting is ruled justified, or the case is sent to a Grand Jury. “