COLORADO SPRINGS — The city and police removed De’Von Bailey’s memorial Friday afternoon off Preuss Road in Colorado Springs. It has been in the same spot since August 4.
The 19-year-old was shot and killed by officers on August 3. A grand jury recently ruled that police were justified in the shooting.
It has been 125 days since Bailey was fatally shot, officers cleared the memorial that was placed nearby where the shooting took place.
“There wasn’t anything of value there,” said an officer on a Facebook video.
“Yea, but it was a cross for someone who died…I’ve never heard of someone messing with someone’s memorial,” a woman who videotaped the police leaving after clearing the memorial responded.
Lt. James Sokolik said multiple neighbors had called in to complain about the memorial and the empty beer bottles, and items of drugs around it. He added that the officers treated it like it was abandoned property on the sidewalk.
“There wasn’t anything crazy there was no liquor bottles or things like that it was a legit memorial,” Shaun Walls a community activist said.
Crosses, rosaries, candles and pictures of Bailey were removed.
“They painted over all the things they had on the street for him, I understand the graffiti and what not but would you rather have the graffiti or these black spots all over the floor,” Walls said. “It doesn’t make sense and it was disrespectful.”
It didn’t take family and friends long to repaint and set up a brand new memorial. They also made it bigger than the last one. Posters were added to the light poles as well.
“He didn’t do anything to deserve this disrespect and he got killed and now they are doing it again, they are stomping and spitting in his family’s face,” Walls explained.
The family said they weren’t told before items were taken and think it isn’t right when other memorials around town are still standing.
“They don’t see anything of value here, they didn’t see any value in his life either and they didn’t see any value of kids that were standing right here and when they shot, when they killed him right here, they don’t see value in us and that’s the problem,” Walls added.
People plan to keep putting up a memorial no matter if the city and police keep trying to take it down. A group is holding a vigil for Bailey Saturday before the Parade of Lights in downtown Colorado Springs.