Members of Bailey’s family, their attorneys, and other leaders in the Black community held a news conference outside of the Colorado Springs Police Department downtown headquarters. At least 100 people attended.
Rev. Promise Lee called for the release of all body camera and dash-camera footage from the shooting. Lee also demanded that an independent prosecutor from outside of El Paso County investigate the incident.
“We did not come here to bow our heads and pray — especially with our backs facing the police department. But we came here with a list of demands,” Lee said. “Mayor Suthers and CSPD, we do not trust you.”
Bailey was shot at seven times in the back, according to witnesses.
USA Today reports that two Colorado Springs police were responding to a robbery report the evening of Aug. 3. Then one of the officers shot one of the two suspects. The officer claims that the suspect reached for a firearm.
Footage obtained by the Gazette reportedly does not show Bailey holding or wielding a gun.
“Today in our city, we are the latest in a long line of police-involved killings of young black men,” Deb Walker, the executive director the Citizens Project, said. “The questions before us as a community [are]: How will we be different? How will we handle this as a community so we become stronger, instead of stoking the flames of mistrust?”
“We are not anti-police. But we are for the life and liberty of every human being in this city, in this state, in this country. And we cannot have two legal systems for communities of color and those who are white,” Rev. Stephany Rose Spaulding, who is hoping to challenge U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner in the upcoming elections, added.
Family Says Shooting Is Not A ‘Black Lives Matter’ Issue
Although a white officer shot Bailey, his family wants to stay focused on the fact that the officer shot Bailey in the back as he ran away.
“I don’t want to make this about ‘Black Lives Matter’ or anything, because all of our lives matter,” Greg Bailey, De’Von’s father said at the news conference. “I know everyone says that my son was killed by a white cop, and he’s a Black man in the community. “
“Yes, those are facts, but that’s not what this is about. This is (about) what’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong,” the older Bailey added. “And what’s wrong is that my son was shot in the back by law enforcement.”
Due to internal conflicts that could arise with the police department, sheriff’s department and district attorney working together, the family is demanding an independent investigation.
“An independent and impartial special prosecutor should be given the important responsibility of bringing charges against the officers involved in this tragedy,” attorneys Darold Killmer and Mari Newman said in a statement on Monday.
In the meantime, the sheriff’s office is expected to finish its investigation by Friday. The department will present its findings to the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
If the District Attorney declines to charge an officer, he is required by law to issue a public report.