Video shows Colorado police shooting man as he runs

Friday, August 16, 2019

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DENVER, United States (AP) — A black man was running from Colorado officers when they opened fire this month, striking him in the back at least once before he collapsed on a street, according to footage released yesterday from cameras worn by police.

The Colorado Springs Police Department released the video nearly two weeks after the death of 19-year-old De'Von Bailey, following calls from Bailey's family for the footage to be made public.

It came as law enforcement agencies across the country are under scrutiny for the killing of black men.

Bailey's death has prompted several protests in Colorado Springs, including one heated rally that ended when police arrested two bail bondsmen who they said arrived on motorcycles and drew guns after a scuffle with protesters.

Police previously said an officer shot Bailey on August 3 after he reached for a gun.

The body camera footage shows officers talking to Bailey and another man in a neighbourhood about an armed robbery that was reported nearby. One officer orders the men, who are both black, to keep their hands up so another officer can search them for weapons.

Bailey runs away as he is about to be searched and is seen with his hands near his waistband.

The officer can be heard yelling “hands up!” three times before firing multiple shots. The footage shows Bailey falling to the ground and the officers running up to cuff his hands behind his back.

An officer kneeling at Bailey's side tugs at what appears to be a gun between his legs as he bleeds in the street.

“He's got a gun in his pants,” another officer says as the kneeling officer struggles to free the object from Bailey's shorts. One of the officers uses a blade to cut Bailey's shorts before removing them.

Family attorney Mari Newman characterised Bailey's shooting as an “execution”, based on the video and the reports of witnesses she did not name.

Darold Killmer, another family lawyer, said yesterday that he believes the officer used excessive force and that Bailey “was doing everything in his power ... to get away”.

“He did not have a weapon in his hand and had not shown any weapon when he was shot in the back and killed,” Killmer said. “The police appear to argue that they shot Mr Bailey because they feared he was going for a gun at the time. We think the video shows otherwise.”

Bailey's family planned a wake yesterday and his funeral and burial services were set for today in Colorado Springs.

The shooting is being investigated by the El Paso County sheriff's office, which will turn its findings over to prosecutors. Bailey's family has asked for an independent special prosecutor to take over the inquiry.

Several media organisations, including The Associated Press, requested the release of the video.

The Gazette has reported that officers with the Colorado City Police Department have shot seven people this year, five of which were fatal.

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