Protesters hit streets of Colorado Springs over shooting of Black man
Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 8/6/2019, 12:06 p.m.
Several dozen demonstrators marched from the Colorado Springs City Hall to the city's police headquarters Monday in protest over the fatal shooting of a young Black man during a police stop Saturday evening, reports CPR.org. The incident started when officers stopped two young men in connection with a robbery near the 2400 block of East Fountain Boulevard. “During the encounter, one suspect reached for a firearm.
At least one officer fired a shot at the suspect,” the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. Witnesses said 19-year-old De’von Bailey was shot multiple times in the back as he tried to flee. He later died at a hospital, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported. Bailey’s cousin, 19-year-old Lawrence Stoker, said he was the second suspect arrested by the police in the incident. He denied he and Bailey had anything to do with the earlier robbery and the two were walking to Stoker’s girlfriend’s house when the police approached them.
Stoker confirmed his cousin did have a gun, but says the officers on the scene did not see the weapon before firing on Bailey. “He didn’t pull his weapon, they didn’t know. When he ran and they shot him, they took off his pants and it fell out of his pocket and they noticed,” Stoker said. Stoker said he was taken to the police department and kept there until early Sunday morning. He said police did not question him about the robbery, instead talking to him about what he should say if questioned about the shooting.
“It made something go off in my head — something’s weird,” Stoker said. “(They were) trying to persuade me that he might have been touching his pockets or something. I’m not doing that. That’s not what happened at all.” The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave. The El Paso County sheriff's office, which is investigating the shooting, says there is body-worn camera footage of the incident, but they are not releasing it at this time. Tensions rose during the protest when two bail bondsmen arrived at the Police Operations Center during the demonstration.
“A verbal disturbance erupted," according to a statement from the Colorado Springs Police Department, and a protester struck one of the bondsmen. Both men then drew their handguns. The bondsmen were arrested for disorderly conduct. The event incited other disturbances in the crowd. Police in riot gear entered the street, but no other people were taken into custody, according to the statement.