The investigation into the shooting of 19-year-old De’Von Bailey by Colorado Springs police officers will be referred to a grand jury, according to the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
District Attorney Dan May sent out a tweet announcing the decision on Friday. He said no further comment would be made.
Bailey was shot on Aug. 3 by two CSPD officers following a report of a robbery. Body camera footage was released in the wake of the shooting, and it shows Bailey run away from officers just before they’re about to search him for a weapon. The video appears to show Bailey holding an item in his shorts while running away, and that’s when the officers open fire.
Bailey was shot three times in the back and died at the hospital. His death prompted protests across the city, with his family calling for an independent investigation into the shooting.
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office investigated the shooting and turned its report into the DA’s office. The two officers involved have since returned to duty.
Now, a grand jury will review the case to determine whether or not criminal charges will be filed.
Aya Gruber is a professor of law at the University of Colorado. She says this way, the people of Colorado will help decide if the shooting was in fact criminal or simply a case of self defense.
“You cannot shoot someone in the back when they’re running away from you. The only time police are allowed to use deadly force to stop someone who’s escaping is when they believe that their life or the life of others are in imminent danger,” Gruber said. “If [the DA’s Office] declined to bring it they’re going to get a bunch of push-back from concern citizens that are concerned about police misconduct and police excessive force.”
Gruber says once selected, jury members will hear testimony, watch videos, hear witness statements, and read police reports.