Crowd protests recent officer-involved shooting outside police headquarters
Two people were arrested as protesters crowded the entrance of the Colorado Springs Police Department headquarters Monday demanding justice over a recent officer-involved shooting.
Both of the men arrested appeared to be counterprotesters. Their arrival interrupted what had been a heated but peaceful protest.
"They pulled up and they started talking about how all lives matter and this is about everyone," said witness Brandon Poe. "... Everyone immediately rushed them and were like, 'Hey, get out of here, this isn't the place for that. We're, like, mourning and protesting our thing.
"... Soon as the people started going towards them, the bikers pulled out their guns and started aiming at people's faces."
The counterprotesters' arrival came two hours into the demonstration, which started at City Hall at 11 a.m. and made its way to the POC about a mile away.
The focus of the protest centered largely around De'Von Bailey, who family and friends say was wrongly
Saturday night. Family members of a second man
, Josh Vigil, were also in attendance.
The motorcyclists pulled up the POC just before 1 p.m.
"It's very concerning," said police spokesperson Lt. Jim Sokolik of the men bringing weapons. "It's a constitutional right to peacefully protest and address the government when you're upset. ... We want all citizens to express their concerns. And it very much changes the message of what the citizens are trying to accomplish here when there’s a physical altercation. When there’s guns involved. That very much distorts everybody here, it distorts what’s occurring.”
Police later identified the men as bail bondsmen Dustin and Justin Brooks, both 33, and confirmed they rode up to the scene wearing bulletproof vests and carrying the bail bonds badges. Both men face charges of disorderly conduct. No other arrests were made.
The crowd was told to disperse after that.
It was a more somber setting at Adams Park Sunday evening when more than 100 people gathered for the "Justice for De'Von Bailey" vigil, jointly hosted by the Colorado Springs Council for Justice and the Colorado branch of the NAACP. Lighting candles and shedding tears, many in attendance told 11 News the shooting was all a misunderstanding.
"He was minding his own business with a friend of his and was just in the wrong place at the wrong time," said Jacqueline Johnson, Bailey's stepmother. "Mistaken identity."
De'Von Bailey has been identified as
. Police tell 11 News the shooting stemmed from a robbery call.
"Officers were dispatched to a personal robbery with a weapon in the 2400 block of East Fountain Boulevard. They contacted the victims there, who pointed out two suspects," Sokolik told reporters Saturday night.
According to the officers' account, when they tried to detain the suspects, one of the men moved towards his gun.
"One of [the suspects] reached for a firearm in their waistband. At least one of the officers involved did fire. The suspect was struck at least one time," Sokolik said.
11 News reporter Ashley Franco spoke to a witness, who told a different story.
“We saw a squad car going up the street," said Elizabeth Powell, who was hosting her daughter's birthday party that evening. "... As I was walking up the street, the first squad car that we saw had pulled up on two young black male individuals, and they were questioning them. The next thing I know, the male in the black shirt turned around and he just started running. He didn’t have anything in his hands; he did not brandish any type of weapon. The police officer did not try and chase him, did not try and tase him. He took out his gun and he shot him.”
With two very different stories, the victim's family says they just want to know what happened.
"To be a parent who just lost their child and to not have any answers, and you have to sit on thumbtacks and needles to wait to find out what happened to your child until three or four days from now is totally uncalled for," Johnson said.
They tell 11 News they are sad and hurting.
"Everybody loves him. Everybody knows him," Sema'j Johnson said of her brother.
"The little dances he does or the songs that he would sing. He was just goofy and he would just brighten your mood," Jacqueline Johnson said.
In accordance with state law, an outside agency is now investigating the shooting. In this case, it is the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.
The 4th Judicial District will make the ultimate determination on whether the shooting was justified.