As he delivered the annual State of the City address on Thursday, Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers was interrupted several times by people calling for justice in the officer-involved shooting death of De’Von Bailey last month.
Five minutes into his speech, Suthers was speaking about about population growth and indicated it doesn’t tell the whole story of the state of the city. One woman yelled, “The state of the city is police brutality.” She was escorted out of the room after calling for repercussions for the officers involved in 19-year-old Bailey’s death.
The mayor continued with his prepared remarks, which, immediately following the outburst included mention of Colorado Springs being ranked in the top three “Best Places in the U.S. To Live” by U.S. News and World Report for two years in a row.
A few minutes later chanting could be heard in the hallway.
The State of the City is underway at the Broadmoor. COS Mayor John Suthers has been interrupted twice by individuals calling for “justice for De’Von Bailey” who was shot and killed by police Aug. 3. There were also protestors outside and in the lobby. pic.twitter.com/XfZA2sN0df
— Abigail Beckman (@Abigail_KRCC) September 12, 2019
Later in the address, he reflected on the tension following Bailey’s death saying officers have to make split second decisions to protect themselves and the community.
“But, ladies and gentlemen, our police officers, just like everyone else, should have the benefit of due process and the rule of law,” Suthers said.
The mayor received a standing ovation after highlighting an increased budget to hire more police officers. Suthers said the new officers and patrol would be used to reduce response times and improve traffic safety. Other noted topics included a booming economy and the city’s efforts to address homelessness.
At the end of his remarks, the mayor presented the Spirit of the Springs Lifetime Achievement Award to Katherine Loo. Loo served on Colorado Springs City Council for six years. She also played an integral role in various organizations, including The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, and The Nature Conservancy.
Listen to the entire 2019 State of the City address below:
Southern Colorado is changing a lot these days. We can help you keep up. Sign up for the KRCC Weekly Digest here and get the stories that matter to Southern Colorado, delivered straight to your inbox.