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State lawmakers plan on changing how officer involved shooting deaths are investigated

A state lawmaker wants to introduce legislation that will change the way law enforcement agencies are investigated after the use of deadly force.

Although Representative Leslie Herod serves another district, she says it was the CSPD shooting of 19-year-old De'von Bailey that spurred her to action. 

"What we want to make sure is that there is accountability and transparency in the process, coupled with the independence of the investigation," Herod told KRDO over the phone.

Bailey's shooting ignited protests asking for change and transparency. The case was handed over to El Paso County Sheriff's investigators for further review. That's standard procedure but this time it caused a strong public backlash.

Now after speaking with other lawmakers, Herod wants these types of investigations to be handled by the state attorney general's office or the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. There's even been talk of having everyday civilians review cases, giving them a voice in holding law enforcement accountable.

"It is so critical that we have a neutral body investigating these incidents," Herod says. "I think it is in the interest of public safety as well as the interest of the officers who are involved to make sure this happens."

KRDO reached out to former Pueblo County Sheriff Dan Corsentino. He says he's all for transparency but doesn't like the idea of everyday people being part of the process.

"The legislature has to be very careful in not turning operational issues of law enforcement agencies into political issues," Corsentino said. "I think it defeats the purpose of the professionalism that law enforcement officers have."

While all of this is still in the very early stages of planning, Herod says it will be a big topic of discussion in the upcoming session. 

Colorado Springs / Local News

Chase Golightly

Chase is a reporter and an anchor for our weekend evening newscasts.