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What Colorado law says about deadly force shooting investigations

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The fates of two Colorado Springs police officers involved in the shooting of a 19-year-old are now in the hands of the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

The El Paso County Sheriff’s office turned over their investigation of the De'Von Bailey shooting to District Attorney Dan May, who will decide if the two officers will face charges.

Colorado Law addresses deadly force, and that’s what prosecutors will be using to measure their decision.

Police body camera footage revealed a 911 call made prior to the shooting.

An unidentified reporting party told the dispatcher he had been robbed at gunpoint.

The transcript reads in part, “then one of the guys started hitting me and I fall down to the ground and the other guy pulls out the gun, and he's like, you better tell what in your pockets."

That information was passed onto the responding officers. The dispatcher tells one of the officers, “the one with the goatee is going to be the one with the gun.”

Colorado statute 18-1-707 (1) (I) says police are justified to use deadly force on a person if he or she, “has committed or attempted to commit a felony involving the use or threatened use of a deadly weapon.”

The footage shows police approaching two suspects that match the description from the dispatcher.

It can be heard over Sgt. Alan Van't Land’s camera. He asks the two men, “So we got a report of two people, similar descriptions, possibly having a gun. Alright? So, don't reach for your waists. We're gonna just check and make sure that you don't have a weapon. Alright?"

As Van't Land and officer Blake Evenson start to approach the two men, De’Von Bailey runs away, and seconds later, police open fire.

Colorado statute 18-1-707 (1)(a) says it is justified if it is “to effect an arrest or to prevent the escape from custody of an arrested person…”


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