Attorneys for the family of a young black man who was fatally shot by Colorado police called Monday for an independent special prosecutor to investigate his death.
Surveillance video obtained last week by The Gazette showed 19-year-old De’Von Bailey running from two officers before falling to the ground. Colorado Springs police have said an officer shot Bailey on Aug. 3 after he reached for a gun but they have not elaborated, citing a pending sheriff’s office investigation and subsequent review by the district attorney.
Attorneys for Bailey’s family said that system has too many conflicts, as the police department, sheriff’s office and district attorney work together. City officials should appoint a special prosecutor to refer the case to a grand jury, they said.
“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.
The shooting comes at a time when law enforcement agencies across the
country are under scrutiny in the killing of black men. Bailey’s death
has prompted several protests in Colorado Springs, including one heated
rally that ended when police arrested two bail bondsmen who arrived on
motorcycles and drew guns after a scuffle with some of the protesters.
Attorneys said Bailey’s relatives also want all footage from officers’ body-worn cameras and patrol dash cameras to be released.
“We want to make sure that it’s all the information, not just what
the police think supports their side of things,” Killmer said.
The Rev. Promise Lee, a pastor working with Bailey’s family, said Monday that Bailey’s body has been released to the family. Lee said he observed gunshot wounds on Bailey’s body at a funeral home.
“Regardless of how many times you look at that video, it’s undeniable
that this shooting was excessive and uncalled for,” Lee said.
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday that it expects to complete its investigation by the end of this week for review by prosecutors. A spokesman for the police department said Friday that it will allow body camera footage from two officers capturing “the moments leading up to, including and immediately following the shooting” to be released.