DENVER (CBS4) – After the Denver District Attorney announced officers were legally justified in the shooting death of William DeBose, dozens of protesters took to the streets of downtown Denver, claiming the DA got it wrong. DeBose’s father, Walter DeBose, addressed the crowd, saying he believed his son wasn’t trying to shoot at officers, as the DA had described.
“My son is dead, he was shot to death for running for his life, and possibly throwing the gun away, that’s what he was trying to do, he was running for his life, to try to throw that gun away,” Walter DeBose said. “He’s not trying to turn around to shoot at three officers, come on, that doesn’t make any sense.”
Thursday, DA Beth McCann announced body cam video cleared officers of any wrongdoing in killing William DeBose on May 1.
Video of the incident, released Thursday, shows after police tried unsuccessfully to stop DeBose for speeding on Interstate 70, they caught up with him on West Colfax Avenue. DeBose parked his car and ran.
Police body camera video appears to show DeBose taking out a gun, turning around, and pointing it at officers. Four shots are fired, and DeBose falls to the ground.
McCann said because he pointed the gun at officers, police had the legal right to use deadly force against DeBose.
“Unfortunately, the deceased chose to retrieve a gun and point it at the officer, during this chase, so in that circumstance, our Colorado law allows a police officer, actually anyone for that matter, to use deadly physical force, because of the fear of imminent danger,” McCann said. “I will note that the gun was fully loaded, Mr. DeBose’s gun was fully loaded, and there was round in the chamber. So, it was ready to fire.”
But DeBose’s father doesn’t believe his son was pointing the gun at officers.
“I cannot believe her decision, you cannot hardly see the important parts of the video, how did she come to that conclusion?” Walter DeBose told CBS4. “With what I’m seeing, my son was not trying to hurt anyone, he was trying to get away, and run for his life.”
If you would like to watch the full police videos released by the DA’s office Thursday, click here.