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Armed Mob Of Protesters Marches On Home Of Officer Involved In Justified Shooting

Colorado Springs, CO – A group of armed “protesters” marched to the alleged home of Colorado Springs police officer on Monday to demand he be fired for fatally shooting an armed suspect during a 2019 robbery investigation.

An El Paso County grand jury spent a month investigating the Aug. 3, 2019 death of 19-year-old De’Von Bailey before determining that the fatal shooting was justified, Colorado Public Radio reported.

Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) Sergeant Alan Van’t Land and Officer Blake Evenson were both cleared of criminal charges and have since returned to active duty, according to the Associated Press.

On Monday, the one-year anniversary of Bailey’s death, a mob of armed demonstrators marched into a neighborhood where Sgt. Van’t Land allegedly resides, KRDO reported.

Videos showed the crowd as they walked down the middle of the street chanting Bailey’s name.

They stopped outside a home and proceeded to chant “Black Lives Matter” and anti-President Trump slogans.

At one point, the crowd blocked a vehicle from driving down the roadway and surrounded it while chanting “murderer,” as the driver recorded them with a cell phone, the video showed.

At least three of the masked rioters standing in front of the vehicle were armed with rifles.

The driver remained in his vehicle during a heated verbal exchange with the armed protesters.

Moments later, CPD officers arrived at the scene and ordered the group to continue moving and to allow the vehicles to drive through, but the mob ignored them.

“F–k you, pigs,” someone off-camera yelled. “F–k the police!”

As one vehicle weaved through the crowd, members of the group banged on the windows and at least one person appeared to spit on the driver’s side of the pickup truck, the video showed.

The mob eventually resumed its march and headed down the street towards a second home where the pickup parked.

A man armed with a rile was standing out in the driveway.

“Hands up, don’t shoot!” the crowd yelled as they passed by.

Further down the road, a member of the group got onto a loudspeaker and demanded that Sgt. Van’t Land “put down that badge and gun, come out, and turn yourself in,” the video showed.

“You committed homicide!” he declared. “You committed the homicide of De’Von Bailey and countless other people of color in this city.”

“We will not rest until you are put behind bars,” he vowed. “Even this mother—ker going to prison is not going to be enough. We will never get our fallen back. But they will be saying his name for the rest of their f—king life.”

The home where Sgt. Van’t Land allegedly resides was roped off with “no trespassing” signs, as were neighboring houses, Colorado Public Radio reported.

It did not appear that anyone was home at the residence where the sergeant allegedly lives, according to the news outlet.

Event organizer Shaun Walls, a member of the Empowerment Solidarity Network, said that the group was not surprised that Sgt. Van’t Land wasn’t fired as a result of the shooting.

“So now we’re going to be at his church. We’re going to be in front of his neighbor’s house,” Walls told Colorado Public Radio. “We’re going to become a nuisance for him.”

CSPD alerted residents about the planned march ahead of time, and urged them to shelter in place until the mob passed.

Sgt. Van’t Land and Officer Evenson were investigating a report of an armed robbery when they spotted Bailey and another individual approximately one block away from the scene, Colorado Public Radio.

Both men matched the description of the alleged robbery suspects, according to police.

The officers spoke with the suspects briefly before Bailey suddenly took off on foot, ignoring Sgt. Van’t Land’s commands to stop.

The sergeant chased after him, at which point Bailey began reaching for a firearm, according to police.

The officers fired eight rounds, striking Bailey once in the arm and three times in the back, Colorado Public Radio reported.

Investigators located a gun in Bailey’s pants after he was fatally shot, according to the Associated Press.

Bailey’s co-defendant, Lawrence Stoker, was acquitted by a jury in November of 2019, KRCC reported.

The jury further determined that the person who placed the 911 call accusing Stoker and Bailey of robbing and assaulting someone at gunpoint was lying, according to the news outlet.

Bailey’s family filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Colorado Springs and both officers in June, alleging that the officers violated Bailey’s constitutional rights by using excessive force.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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