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Colorado Springs agrees to pay family of Black man shot by police $3M to settle lawsuit

De'Von Bailey shooting
Posted at 12:58 PM, Feb 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-09 14:58:51-05

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The city of Colorado Springs agreed Tuesday to settle a lawsuit brought by the family of a Black man who was shot and killed by police in August 2019.

The city agreed to pay the family of De'Von Bailey $2.975 million.

"My heart is broken at the loss of my son, but I am hopeful that the changes in the Colorado Springs Police Department will prevent another family from losing a child," Bailey's mother staid in a statement.

The shooting happened on Aug. 3, 2019, when two officers, Sgt. Alan Van't Land and Officer Blake Evenson, stopped 19-year-old Bailey and his cousin in a local park while following up with a report of a nearby armed robbery.

Bailey fled from officers after they told him they planned to search him for weapons. One of the officers gave chase and yelled for Bailey to put his hands up.

Body camera footage showed that Bailey still had his back to the officer when he opened fire. Several of the officers' shots hit Bailey in the back and chest.

He died at the scene.

According to a report released in November 2019, a grand jury chose not to indict Van't Land or Evenson or issue charges in the shooting. The grand jury also ruled the officers were justified in the shooting under Colorado's "Fleeing Felon" law, as well as public safety concerns.

In March of 2020, the U.S. Attorney's Office for Colorado decided it would not pursue federal charges against Van't Land or Evenson, as the shooting "did not result from any willful violation of Mr. Bailey's constitutional rights."

The lawsuit was brought in June of 2020 by the civil rights firm Killmer, Lane & Newman.

In response to the settlement, the Colorado Springs Department released a statement.

"Under the law and based on the officers' extensive training, they acted justifiably to protect both themselves and the community. We strongly stand behind our officers and their actions. We want to state unequivocally that this settlement is not, in any way, an admission or indication of wrongdoing by these officers," the department said.

In addition to paying Bailey's family, the city also agreed to ensure all officers have undergone new state use-of-force policies, provide anti-bias training for officers for two years, maintain an early intervention program designed to identify officers who may abuse use-of-force situations and retain all employee files for the duration of their career. However, those policies and training were already in place before the settlement.

This story was originally published by Anissa Connell, Natalie Chuck and Michael Rummel on Scripps station KOAA in Colorado Springs.