Body cam footage was released this week showing the shooting death of a Black teenager by Colorado Springs, Col., police and it has spurred more questions than answers among the community.
De’Von Bailey, 19, was shot four times by police officers on Aug 3, after being stopped with another young man, identified as Lawrence Stoker, also 19. The two were being questioned as potential suspects in an armed robbery.
In the video, the pair are ordered by cops to put their hands up, which they do. But shortly after, Bailey makes a run for it and is fatally shot in the back. Officers did later find a weapon on him, but there is no evidence in the video that he ever reached for it.
Bailey’s autopsy, along with the footage, confirmed that the 19-year-old was shot a total of four times on August 3, 2019 – three times in the back and once in the arm.
According to a statement given to Colorado Springs station KXRM, Bailey’s devastated family has deemed his untimely death as “wholly unjustified.”
“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 statement further read.
What’s on the police body cam footage?
Bailey can be seen on the footage briefly touching his side before an officer tells him to keep his hands away from his pockets. The teen is then seen complying and moving his hand away, making sure they’re in plain view.
Shortly after taking off, one of the officers began to chase Bailey, shouting at Bailey to keep his hands up before ultimately firing his gun. Police officials said that both Sgt. Alan Van’t Land and Officer Blake Evanson fired their weapons at the teen, with a total of eight shots being heard in the audio of the footage. Bailey’s body can also be seen falling to the ground shortly after, while officers order him to stand down.
According to officials, police claim they were on the scene to respond to a robbery threat around 6:45 p.m. According to USA Today, the coroner’s report cited that Bailey was pronounced dead by 7:20 p.m.
One of the family’s attorneys, Darold Killmer, spoke on the graphic video and its release.
“The video shows that there was no evidence to support that anybody was imminently at risk of being killed or harmed,” Killmer told Colorado Public Radio. “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.”
Bailey’s family says that after they bury their son on Friday, they will push for an independent investigation into the shooting.
“For anyone to pass judgment on De’Von, shame on you. God is the only one who can pass judgment. Every man is innocent until proven guilty,” said Greg Bailey, De’Von’s father at a rally in support of the family, calling for justice. “This about what is right and what is wrong.”