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Wrongful death lawsuit filed against Colorado Springs and CSPD for De’Von Bailey shooting

bailey and stoker widescreen Cropped
De'Von Bailey and Lawrence Stoker

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- On Thursday, attorneys representing the family of De'Von Bailey filed a lawsuit against the city of Colorado Springs and two Colorado Springs police officers.

Sergeant Alan Van’t Land and Officer Blake Evenson are both named in the lawsuit, claiming they "exercised excessive force, racial biased policing, and battery causing wrongful death" in the shooting of Bailey.

Both officers were cleared of any wrongdoing in the August 2019 shooting, by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and a grand jury convened by the 4th Judicial District Attorney.

On August 3rd, the two officers say they were responding to a call for a reported armed robbery when they approached De'Von Bailey and his cousin, Lawrence Stroker.

Body camera footage shows the officers asking both parties to put their hands up, moments later Bailey is seen running away from officers before police open fire. Officers found a gun in Bailey's shorts when they put him in handcuffs, but he later died in custody.

The lawsuit filed by KILLMER, LANE & NEWMAN, LLP claims Anthony Love, an acquaintance of Bailey and Stoker falsely reported a robbery, leading police to the two men.

When approached, attorneys say police officers didn't give Bailey any warning they were going to shoot, and claim Bailey didn't reach for the gun while he was running away.

Should the lawsuit rule in favor of the plaintiffs, Bailey's family, attorneys are asking for:

  1. (a)  Declaratory and injunctive relief, as appropriate;
  2. (b)  Economic losses on all claims allowed by law in an amount to be determined at trial;
  3. (c)  Compensatory and consequential damages, including, but not limited to, damages for emotional distress, humiliation, loss of enjoyment of life, and other pain and suffering on all claims allowed by law in an amount to be determined at trial;
  4. (d)  Punitive damages on all claims allowed by law and in an amount to be determined at trial;
  5. (e)  Attorneys’ fees and the costs associated with this action, including expert witness fees, on all claims allowed by law;
  6. (f)  Pre- and post-judgment interest at the lawful rate;
  7. (g)  Any further relief that this court deems just and proper, and any other relief as allowed by law.

KRDO spoke with to a third-party civil attorney for expertise on the the lawsuit.

Michael Stuzynski, an attorney with Rector Law Firm said a win in this case might not look typical.

"In my experience, a victory could come in many different ways. Sometimes, a victory could come in just fighting for what you believe is right," he explained, "when you generate public interest in things like this calling it to their attention, you can absolutely have success in changing public wars and even the law surrounding how things are handled."

The City of Colorado Springs, a defendant in the case told KRDO they do not comment on pending or active litigation. The police department did not respond to a request for comment.

Colorado Springs / Local News

Krystal Story

Krystal is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Krystal here.

Comments

12 Comments

  1. This is getting out of control . Now police can not do anything or they will be scrutinized. There are a lot of good police come on people

    1. I would agree and go a bit further, and say that the vast majority of police are good people. Don’t throw out the whole barrel because of a few bad apples.

    2. Getting out of control? Getting under control is more like it.
      Of course, there are a lot of good police. They don’t go around shooting or beating black people cuz they get a rush. They should be scrutinized – just as any professional is, especially those who hold a person’s life in their hands. These cops were so excited to find a gun (relieved?) tangled up in De’Von’s shorts, they didn’t even notice he was choking on his own blood and dying in their arms. Nor did they care. And for what?

      Don’t say he had it coming, he is supposed to do what they tell them to do. Those stay-at-home protesters didn’t do what they were told to do, either. And many of them were armed. What, oh what, could be the difference?

      1. “What, oh what, could be the difference?”
        .
        They were part of a large crowd, and they didn’t get caught.

  2. Did the officer have the legal right to shoot him? YES.
    Was it the right thing to do? NO.

    The suspect started running and no weapon was visible. He could have used a Taser, he could have tried to tackle him. The officer did not know that he was armed until after he had fired his weapon. In effect shooting an unarmed man.

    This is no different than you shooting a person that is standing on your lawn claiming he was a burglar because you found a crowbar hidden on his dead body.

    1. He could not have used a taser. The kid was outside of taser reach in 3 steps. He also could not have tackled him cuz the kid was too fast. The officer saw him reach for something in front and that’s why the officer shot. The cops asked him if he had a gun and he said no. The cops were kind and polite and told him not to move so that they could search him. The cops were there because someone called and reported having been pistol whipped by this kid.
      .
      This is far different than you shooting a person that is standing on your lawn claiming he was a burglar because you found a crowbar hidden on his dead body. Not even close.

    2. Alexi, I have a great idea. Why don’t YOU go down to CSPD, get a job as an officer, and then you can show us all how it should be done?

  3. The protestors that were maced need to file one as well. In this lawsuit they should ask for the removal of the racist police chief.

  4. Sounds alot of people are arm chair quarterbacking a profession they don’t have the grapes to do themselves.

  5. The is just a slimy civil attorney trying to take more money from Devon’s family. It was a good shoot and they will win nothing.

Comments are closed.