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Colorado Springs Settles Lawsuit Over Fatal Police Shooting

Colorado Springs, Co., reached a nearly $3 million settlement in a civil lawsuit brought by the family of a 19-year-old Black man who died after being shot in the back by police officers in 2019, the Associated Press reports. De'Von Bailey's death prompted protests against the use of excessive force by police and helped lead to police accountability laws in Colorado. The family's federal lawsuit alleged civil rights violations, racial bias in policing and wrongful death. The Colorado Springs City Council approved the $2.97 million settlement Tuesday. Police body camera footage showed officers talking to Bailey and another man about an armed robbery reported nearby. Bailey ran as he was about to be searched. An officer could be heard yelling "Hands up!" three times before firing. Police Sgt. Alan Van't Land and officer Blake Evenson said they feared Bailey may have been reaching for a gun as he ran. Body-cam footage released by investigators showed officers removing a pistol from Bailey's pocket after he was shot and was on the ground in handcuffs.

A state grand jury, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's office reviewed the shooting but declined to file charges against the officers. Both still work for the police department. Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said that the settlement of the lawsuit was in taxpayers' best interest and avoided a costly jury trial. The police department said that "we want to state unequivocally that this settlement is not, in any way, an admission or indication of wrongdoing by these officers. Rather, it was a decision made to mitigate financial risk to the City and taxpayers."


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