COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) - A grand jury will look into the case of the shooting and killing of 19-year-old De'Von Bailey by Colorado Springs Police. Since the incident, friends and family have called for an independent investigation into whether or not the Aug. 3 shooting was justified.
The 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office announced the development on Twitter Friday afternoon. The office was among several entities investigating the incident after the El Paso County Sheriff's Office turned the case over. (hyperlink the tweet: https://twitter.com/4thJudicialDA/status/1180190547979300864)
Bailey was shot by Colorado Springs Police officers on Aug. 3. The officers were responding to a reported robbery in the neighborhood and wanted to question Bailey and another man.
Police Body camera footage shows Bailey running off after officers said he'd be searched for weapons. Officers shot him three times in the back and once in the arm. Police said they did find a gun in his pocket.
Bailey later died at a local hospital.
The shooting sparked widespread outrage which led to protests in the community. Bailey's family has since asked for more evidence and called for an independent investigation.
Following the news of a grand jury investigation Friday, Mari Newman, an attorney representing the family, said it was "too little too late."
"It's impossible for us to have any faith that a grand jury can come to a fair conclusion when they're relying on biased information presented by a biased district attorney," Newman said.
Newman told CBS4 she believes there are too many close ties between local prosecutors and Colorado Springs Police. She also said the family met on Thursday with Gov. Jared Polis, who previously called for an independent review into the shooting.
"He understood and he was in favor of enshrining in statewide law some of these kinds of protections to make sure that there is true independence in investigations and prosecutions in the future," Newman said.
CBS4 reached out to the governor's office to learn more about the meeting and whether Polis will force an independent investigation by executive order. A spokesperson sent the following statement:
"This was a private meeting between the governor and the family and the governor offered his personal condolences to the parents," said Polis' spokesman, Conor Cahill. "No matter the circumstances, nothing is harder than losing a son or daughter. The most important thing right now is to help the Bailey family deal with the grief and allow the community to move forward."
On Friday, State Rep. Leslie Herod, Vice Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, spoke with CBS4's Shaun Boyd about introducing legislation to change how deadly force investigations are administrated.
In response, 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler said he disagrees with handing criminal investigations over to individuals or entities that don't have experience or qualifications.
"I just think that's a huge, reckless mistake," He said. "For them to change the standard is for them to say we want to see more police officers accused of crimes and prosecuted and, gosh darn it, under the laws that apply to everyone of us that standard is just too darn high so we want to change it so we can go after the cops."
In announcing the grand jury recommendation, the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office said "there will be no further comment."
Both officers involved have since returned to duty following administrative leave.
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