De’Von Bailey’s family calls his death ‘wholly unjustified’ after Colorado Springs police release bodycam footage
VANDANA RAVIKUMAR | USA TODAY11:25 p.m. EDT Aug. 15, 2019
0:000:00Black men are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police force than white men: StudyA new study is painting a bleak picture for law enforcement across the country.
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A black teenager whose death sparked an outcry in his Colorado hometown was running from police officers when he was shot four times, according to body camera footage and an autopsy report released Thursday.
The bodycam footage from the Colorado Springs Police Department shows De’Von Bailey, 19, running from two officers who were questioning him and another man about a reported robbery before being shot three times in the back and once in the back of his arm.
Bailey’s family was “devastated” after seeing the “wholly unjustified killing of their family member,” the family’s attorneys said in a statement. The teen’s family and friends had rallied this week in front of the city’s police headquarters, demanding an independent investigation into his Aug. 3 death.
Colorado Springs police did not release a statement on Thursday.
In the graphic video footage from one of the officer’s body-warn cameras, Bailey is seen with another individual, identified by CPR News in Colorado as his 19-year-old cousin, Lawrence Stoker.
19-year-old De’Von Bailey was fatally shot by police in Colorado Springs on August 3. Bailey’s family said that they remember him as having “bright eyes” … Show more THE BAILEY FAMILY
As one officer questions the teens, Bailey can be seen briefly touching his pocket before the officer tells him to keep his hands away from his pockets. He moves his hands away, making sure they’re in view, and appears to exchange words with the officer before both teens put their hands in the air.
The first officer tells the two that the police are going to check and see if either of them have a weapon. Shortly after, a second officer can be seen approaching them from behind. As he does, Bailey turns his head briefly to the left before running away.
The first officer chases Bailey, shouting at him to keep his hands up before firing his gun. Eight gunshots can be heard in the video. Police officials said that both Sgt. Alan Van’t Land and Officer Blake Evanson fired their weapons, CPR reported.
Bailey quickly falls to the ground, while the first officer yells “get your hands up” multiple times. The same officer then tells him to “get down on the ground,” taking Bailey’s arm as he lies nearly face-down in the street. Blood can be seen coming from his gunshot wounds.
The Colorado Springs Police Department released a sequence of three photos from body camera video from a confrontation between officers and De’Von Bailey on Aug. … Show more COLORADO SPRINGS POLICE DEPARTMENT VIA AP
The officers then handcuff Bailey. An object can be seen between his legs, which the officers believe to be a gun. They cut off his shorts to retrieve it.
It remained unclear on Thursday if the object was a gun.
Police said they were on the scene to respond to a robbery threat around 6:45 p.m. In the bodycam footage, one officer can be heard asking Bailey if he goes by the nickname “Spazz,” the alleged name of the suspected robber.
“No, sir,” Bailey said.
According to the coroner’s report, Bailey was pronounced dead by 7:20 p.m.
The bullets that hit Bailey perforated his heart, left lung and diaphragm, in addition to penetrating his spleen, triggering massive blood loss that lead to his death, according to the coroner’s report.
Darold Killmer, one of the family’s attorneys, said the video’s release made for a “crushingly difficult” day for the family.
“The video shows that there was no evidence to support that anybody was imminently at risk of being killed or harmed,” Killmer told CPR. “The video shows that he was doing everything within his power in the six or eight or 10 steps that he could take to get away to, in fact, get away…. He did not have a weapon in his hand and had not shown any weapon when he was shot in the back.”
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