The Colorado Springs Police Department announced Friday that it has arrested three people who attended a neighborhood protest last month. The protest took place exactly one year after officers shot and killed De’Von Bailey.
“What may have begun as a peaceful protest quickly escalated into riotous and illegal behavior,” according to a statement sent out by Colorado Springs police.
Both Sherrie Smith, a 36-year-old resident of Fountain, Colo., and 33-year-old Lloyd Porche of Denver were charged with multiple felonies connected to carrying and allegedly threatening people with assault-style rifles. Charles Johnson, a 20-year-old Colorado Springs resident, has been charged with attempted robbery of a cell phone. Officials have charged all three with inciting or engaging in a riot and other misdemeanors.
On Aug. 3, scores of protesters, many with signs supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, marched to the home of CSPD Sgt. Alan Van’t Land, one of the officers who shot Bailey. Van’t Land’s property was roped off with signs that said “no trespassing,” and the officer did not appear to be home at the time of the protest.
At least a half-dozen people wore body armor and carried firearms during the tense evening of demonstrations.
Organizer Shaun Walls told CPR News the armed guards were protecting the protesters from a violent counter-protest threatened online. The counter-protest never materialized.
In 2019, Van’t Land and Officer Blake Evenson stopped Bailey, a 19-year-old Black man, to question him about a suspected robbery. They shot Bailey after he ran from them. An independent grand jury later cleared both officers of any wrongdoing.