Colorado Springs police claim they were responding to a call about a personal robbery when one of the suspects, 19-year-old De’Von Bailey, reached for a gun before officers shot him dead.
Police say they recovered a gun from the scene.
Bailey’s family members and others from his community say Bailey was shot seven times in the back and didn’t have a weapon.
On thing is certain: home surveillance video appears to show Bailey’s back to police as he runs away from them. And the video does not show him carrying a gun.
John Burton, an attorney for 40-years and former president of the National Police Accountability Project, reviewed the video footage on Tuesday and pointed out that it’s very difficult to carry a weapon in the waistband of gym shorts, which Bailey was wearing.
“He appears to be shot in his back as he is running away, wearing gym shorts and a T-shirt,” Burton told the Gazette.
“And even if he is armed, that’s not enough to justify a shooting generally, unless the weapon is being used or threatened to be used, which I don’t see it. He is definitely not reaching in his waistband and about to shoot the officers.”
The activist group Colorado Springs Council for Justice organized local protests and called for a “thorough and unbiased investigation” into Bailey’s shooting and for the officers involved to be held accountable.
The group also urged the Colorado Springs Police Department and the city to take measures to ensure these types of shootings don’t occur in the future by implementing de-escalation training within the next three months and continue it annually.
“At Colorado Springs Council for Justice, we have witnessed countless officer-involved shootings around the country, and we have stood in solidarity with those communities in their fight for justice,” the group wrote in a statement.
“On Saturday night, we learned that our community is not immune. As eyewitness reports came out, we heard that De’Von Bailey was running from the officer, and was not reaching for a firearm. That was confirmed today with the release of the video.”
Currently, authorities with the Colorado Springs Police Department are refusing to providing information, documentation or even speak with Greg Bailey, De’Von’s father, according to the Denver Post.
“I wasn’t able to see him until (Tuesday) at the funeral home,” Bailey said.
“They wouldn’t let me identify the body. They had a John Doe tag on him when he was in the morgue.”
Greg Bailey also believes his son did not have a gun on him as he ran from officers.
“How can you hold a pistol in basketball shorts?” he asked.
And if he did, Bailey said, he’s “1,000 percent” sure his son wouldn’t have reached for it.
“Who would, in their right mind, reach for their firearm when they’re outnumbered anyway?” he asked.
Bailey said the issue for him isn’t about white cops killing a black man as he ran away.
“It’s about right and wrong,” he said.
“These are the people who are supposed to protect us. In no way, shape or form did they have to shoot him in his back.”
The grief-stricken father says he wants justice, whatever that means.
“You can’t bring my son back,” he explained.
“I don’t know what justice would look like to me because that cop will never feel what I feel.”
He described his son as his “mini-me.”
“He cared about everybody. He was very giving. He liked to laugh. He was goofy,” he said.
After the conclusion of the investigation conducted by the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, the district attorney or a grand jury will decide whether or not to bring charges against the officers.
At the time of the shooting, De’Von Bailey was free on bond for three felony charges from April 8 including sexual assault on a child by someone in a position of trust.
He pleaded not guilty and was scheduled for a jury trial on January 7, according to records.