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Protesters in Colorado Springs demand answers for officer-involved shooting

Posted: 12:47 PM, Aug 05, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-06 16:04:36-04
Protesters in Colorado Springs demand answers for officer-involved shooting
Protesters in Colorado Springs demand answers for officer-involved shooting
Protesters in Colorado Springs demand answers for officer-involved shooting
Protesters in Colorado Springs demand answers for officer-involved shooting
Protesters in Colorado Springs demand answers for officer-involved shooting
Protesters in Colorado Springs demand answers for officer-involved shooting
Protesters in Colorado Springs demand answers for officer-involved shooting

Protesters gathered Monday in front of the Colorado Springs city hall and the Police Operations Center to demand answers following Saturday's officer-involved shooting on East Fountain Boulevard. Family members have identified 19-year-old Devon Bailey as the man killed as officers were responding to call of a "personal robbery with a weapon."

According to Colorado Springs police, at least one officer fired a weapon when the suspect reached for something in his waistband. People in the community turned to social media late Saturday claiming he was shot seven times in the back. Investigators are not commenting on those claims.

Elizabeth Powell told News5 this when we spoke to her on Sunday. "The officer I had my eye on shot at least seven times straight into [Bailey's] back," she said. "And I don't know how many times he was actually hit but he fired off at least seven times. I still didn't see a weapon." The El Paso County Sheriff's Office disputes the claim the suspect was not armed, as the initial report states officers recovered a weapon.

Protesters Monday claimed to represent Black Lives Matter, Moms Demand Action, and friends and family of Bailey. Signs read 'Cops + Klan hand in hand', 'Guns have changed, so should the Second Amendment', 'Blue Lives Murder', 'CSPD condones murder', 'A badge is not a free pass for murder', and 'Justice for Devon.'

Video obtained by News5 of today's protest shows a large group in the entryway to the Colorado Springs Police Operations Center chanting "no justice, no peace."

Bail bondsman confrontation with protesters

Additional footage from a few minutes later shows a crowd approaching two men who just arrived on motorcycles. Officers with weapons drawn detained the two men after a few minutes of shouting between the men and protesters. As officers worked to control the situation, at least one protester pushed over the motorcycles, while others continued shouting.

CSPD later identified the two men as Dustin Brooks and Justin Brooks, both bail bondsmen. CSPD said they drew handguns after one of them was struck by a protester in the crowd. Both men were taken into custody for disorderly conduct. RELATED: Bounty hunters involved in scuffle during a protest in downtown Colorado Springs speak out

A memorial set up for Devon Bailey in southeast Colorado Springs.
A memorial set up for Devon Bailey in southeast Colorado Springs.

The family did not want anyone to speak on their behalf, according to a man at the protest who stopped News5 in the middle of an interview. Our Patrick Nelson was speaking with a woman who says she is Devon's godmother.

We were able to talk to Eve Hernandez-Maestas, who said she went to high school with Devon. She said he was a "really good kid who played football for Mitchell HS." While she was not at the scene of the shooting on Saturday night, she said she believes what others are saying about the shooting on social media, that law enforcement is not telling the truth.

"I hope all of the lies that have been told through the media- everything that's been going on- that everything gets uncovered and the truth comes out," Hernandez-Maestas said. When asked what officers could have done differently, she stated, "I'd detain him first before you take someone's life. Try to get them to comply with you, but pulling your gun out on somebody you have other options, you have a baton, you have a taser, there could have been so many other options than killing and taking a young man's life."

Colorado Springs city hall protest

While everyone at today's protest had a common cause to seek answers about the shooting, not everyone had the same message. One woman said she wanted the group to include 'All Lives Matter' as part of the effort. She told others she lost her son last year. A woman told her, "This is not the situation to talk about this as a white person. Take it somewhere else, okay, bye bye. This is a black lives situation." The majority of the crowd immediately responded with a chant of "Black Lives Matter."

The cry of "no justice, no peace" prevalent within this diverse group of protesters. They're demanding a full accounting for what happened and a release of any video footage. However, historically speaking that does not happen very quickly in Colorado. The investigative process normally takes several weeks or even months before a determination is made on whether the shooting was justified.

Under Colorado law, officer-involved shootings are not investigated by the agency involved in the incident. The El Paso County Sheriff's Office is the lead investigative agency in this case, taking over collection of evidence, interviews and presenting information to the District Attorney's Office for review.

News5 contacted the El Paso County Coroner's Office seeking a confirmation for the name of the person killed in the shooting. As of this morning, we were informed an autopsy has not taken place yet.