COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – Police in Colorado Springs have released body cam videos that show police officers firing on and killing 19-year-old De’Von Bailey as he tries to avoid arrest. Friends and family have called for an independent investigation into whether or not the Aug. 3 shooting was justified.
Police say Bailey was a robbery suspect and that he reached for a weapon before he was shot.
The officer body cam video and 911 calls were released to the public after protests and demands from the community.
Police made contact with the two males after a 911 call in which an unidentified man stated, “I was walking down the street and some men just confronted me with a gun and fought me and they tried to take my belongings.”
Police published the graphic video on their website. Please be warned that the video is extremely disturbing to watch.
The videos from two officers at the scene of the fatal shooting show Bailey and another male standing up and being questioned by officers.
The initial greeting by police begins with, “Hey guys, can I talk to you a sec?”
“We have a report of two people, similar descriptions, possibly having a gun … so don’t reach for your waists. We’re gonna just check and make sure you don’t have a weapon,” say officers, according to a transcription police displayed next to the video.
Bailey suddenly bolts, and the video shows the officer firing at him as he’s sprinting away. His hands are clearly in the area of his waist as he’s running.
“Heads up! Heads up! Heads up!” is heard being shouted followed by several gunshots as Bailey is seen running away.
Officers then run over to where he falls on the ground in the video and attempt to render aid.
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office has taken over the case and the district attorney’s office will decide whether criminal charges are warranted. Bailey’s family says the two agencies have conflicts that could impact the investigation.
According to the autopsy, Bailey was shot four times, three bullets struck him in the back and one in the back of his arm. The other gunshots police fired on Bailey did not strike him.
The attorney for Bailey’s family, Darold Killmer, said, “He did not a weapon in his hand and did not show any weapon when he was shot in the back and killed shot multiple times.”
The body camera video from two of the three officers will be analyzed and re-analyzed, including slow motion. No mention was made about whether the third police officer had a body camera operating. Bailey can be seen running with his hands in front of him after refusing to be searched for a weapon. His hands are also seen out to the side.
“The police appear to argue that they shot Mr. Bailey because they feared he was going for a gun at the time… we feel the video shows otherwise,” said Killmer.
Police said they did recover a gun from Bailey’s shorts.
The Bailey family attorneys say they do not believe the shooting was justified. In a release they stated, “The law of Colorado and the United States Constitution prohibit a law enforcement officer from shooting and killing a fleeing suspect unless the officer has probable cause to believe the suspect is imminently about to cause death or serious bodily injury to the officer or a 3rd party.”
The Colorado Springs Police Department did not comment on Bailey’s shooting.