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Pastor Paul Nelson, left, from The Living Word Baptist Church

and pastor Terry Thomas from Lifting Up Jesus Church

speak Friday outside Colorado Springs police headquarters in response to

two officers being back on active duty

after the fatal shooting of

De’Von Bailey

.

The two officers who shot at De’Von Bailey have returned to work, Colorado Springs police said Friday.

Sgt. Alan Van’t Land and officer Blake Evenson were assigned to administrative work, per department protocol, after the fatal Aug. 3 shooting, police spokeswoman Natashia Kerr said.

She would not confirm when the officers returned to active duty but cited protocol that says officers in such shootings are placed on administrative leave for “approximately three days.”

While on paid leave, they must complete administrative work related to the incident, Kerr said, such as being interviewed by investigators with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office. That agency completed its investigation Thursday and gave the findings to the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Two local pastors, speaking outside police headquarters Friday, expressed disgust with the policy that put the officers back to work.

The Rev. Terry Thomas of Lifting Up Jesus Church said it was “disrespectful,” and he was “appalled” that the officers were allowed to return to active duty before the district attorney rules on the shooting.

The DA’s Office said its investigations of officer-involved shootings take 90 to 120 days, sometimes longer. Then the office will either deem the shooting justified or bring the case to a grand jury.

“Our office takes Officer-Involved Shooting investigations very seriously, and we are committed to a thorough, fair and neutral review, which may include follow-up interviews, additional testing, and further analysis and examination of the evidence,” said a news release from the DA’s Office.

Thomas said he is concerned for the safety of his children and the community, and he reiterated the call by Bailey’s family for an independent investigation into the shooting. Thursday, police released body-cam footage that shows Van’t Land and Evenson fire several shots at Bailey as he sprints away. The officers were confronting him over a reported armed robbery and knew he had a gun.

“I looked at the video, and I counted 1½ steps before shots were fired. That’s disrespectful. If it had been a person of a different hue or a different part of the city, I’m quite sure it wouldn’t have gone down that way,” Thomas said.

Bailey was memorialized at Relevant Word Ministries and buried at Evergreen Cemetery on Friday.

Thomas said he wants justice for Bailey, the fifth person killed by police this year, and more training for the city’s police.

“Our hearts go out to the officers … I prayed for their wives, I pray for their children, because they must be uncertain about their future,” he said.

Multimedia Journalist

Liz is a multimedia journalist with a specific interest in environment and outdoor recreation. She watches way too much Star Trek and is working toward her rescue scuba divers certification. Liz joined the Gazette staff in 2019.

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