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Family, attorneys demand independent investigation into officer-involved shooting

Posted at 7:37 AM, Aug 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-14 12:57:11-05

The family of De'Von Bailey and attorneys for the law firm now representing them held a news conference Tuesday morning to demand an independent investigation into the officer-involved shooting that left the 19-year-old dead.

Bailey's parents addressed the media along with community leaders and attorneys representing the Bailey family in front of the Colorado Springs Police Operations Center.

"We want justice for what was wrongfully done to my son. I know I can't have him back. I know that he's in a better place. I know that he has opened a lot of eyes in the community," said Greg Bailey, De'Von's father.

All speakers spoke behind a clear podium, what they called a symbol of their calls for transparency in the investigation. Local ministry leaders spoke before Bailey's family, all of them called for special prosecutor in the case and for the Colorado Attorney General's office to get involved.

"We demand a grand jury investigation, said Reverend Promise Lee. "We demand a prosecutor other than Dan May. We demand an immediate release and review of all body cams and dashcams and all video. We demand it and we demand it now."

The Bailey family's lawyer, Darold Killmer, said his legal team has not heard any feedback from the city about their request for a special prosecutor in the case.

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In response to the announcement of the news conference on Monday, El Paso County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Natalie Sosa declined to comment and said the sheriff's office is following Colorado law by investigating the shooting. She said it will not have any further comment while the case remains under investigation.

Colorado law requires a separate agency to investigate officer-involved shootings. In this case, CSPD officers were involved in the shooting and the El Paso County Sheriff's Office is investigating this case, which is normal protocol in other officer-involved shootings in Colorado Springs. Similarly, if El Paso County deputies were involved in a shooting, the case would be investigated by CSPD.

Those who spoke Tuesday were also unified in their calls for Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers to intervene and ask for an independent investigation into the shooting.

"Mayor Suthers has a reputation for working across the aisle for the good of our community," said Deb Walker, the executive director of the Citizen's Project. "He is on track to leave a legacy of bringing this community together. We urge him to protect that legacy. It is in our community's best interest to have an independent, even-handed investigation."

Suthers said last week that he supports the release of the video, and he asked the community for patience for the investigation from the El Paso County Sheriff's Office to conclude. However, he did not say he supported an independent investigation.

"I would ask the public to please wait and hear the whole story because I think you'll get a pretty good picture of everything that happened in this case," Suthers told News5 last Wednesday.

The City of Colorado Springs announced through a spokesperson last week that the footage of "the moments leading up to, including and immediately following the shooting" are expected to be released sometime this week.

News5 obtains video showing officers and suspect involved in Saturday's fatal shooting

In addition to the calls for a third party to investigate the shooting, Bailey's mother and father spoke about their son for the first time. De'Von's mother, Delisha Searcy, spoke through tears about him on Tuesday.

"I just want everyone to know De'Von was such a loving person," Searcy said. "He loved his family so much. He always wanted people to do the right thing. I just want justice for him."

De'Von's father, Greg Bailey, said his son's death and Tuesday morning's demonstration was not about Black Lives Matter, but he said all lives matter.

"That's not what this is about," Bailey said. "This is about what's right is right and what's wrong is wrong."

Stephany Rose Spaulding, a former Democratic house candidate, also alluded to the fact that Bailey was facing charges of attempted sexual assault on a child in a position of trust charges that Bailey pleaded not guilty to in the week before he died.

Spaulding said those charges should not justify the shooting and his death.

"His life is worth honoring," Spaulding said. "We will not sit idly by by the character assassination by those who refuse to give justice to black and brown people in life and in death."

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office has not released new information about the investigation since it began, but the following is what we know about the shooting so far. Colorado Springs police officers responded to a reported personal robbery in the 2400 block of E. Fountain Blvd. around 6:45 p.m. Saturday. A release states, "Upon arrival, officers interviewed the victim who identified two suspects. Officers contacted the suspects and during the encounter, one suspect reached for a firearm. At least one officer fired a shot at the suspect."

The pursuit ended in the 2100 block of Preuss Street, which is approximately .3 miles on foot from 2400 E. Fountain Boulevard, where officers responded to the initial call. However, it's not clear exactly where officers began chasing Bailey or how long they chased Bailey on foot. Authorities also said they recovered a weapon at the scene.

Police have not yet released the names of the officers that were involved in the shooting.