The following is an open letter to Colorado Springs Mayor. John Suthers, and Vince Niski, Chief of Police, written by Rev. Clare F. Twomey, pastor of Vista Grande United Church of Christ in Colorado Springs, CO.
A DEMAND FOR JUSTICE FOR DE’VON BAILEY BY CLERGY OF THE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST OF THE PIKES PEAK REGION AND THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN CONFERENCE
TO: Mayor John Suthers, Colorado Springs
Chief of Police Vince Niski
RE: Justice for De’Von Bailey
We are writing in regard to the recent shooting death of De’Von Bailey on August 4, 2019, by the Colorado Springs police. We are aware that this incident remains under investigation. We are also aware that this is an example of the epidemic of unarmed black men who are shot and killed by police in this country in alarming numbers. Needless, or perhaps absolutely necessary, to say, is that there is a resurgence of racial tensions and hate crimes in this country. White nationalism continues to be on the rise. People are on edge with understandable distrust towards those who are in positions of power. Citizens in this city and indeed in the nation must see that their elected and appointed government officials respond appropriately. The citizens demand a compassionate, fair and swift investigation of this matter.
As United Church of Christ clergy in the Pikes Peak Region, and clergy of the Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Church of Christ, we implore you to appoint a special prosecutor and an independent investigative team to fully and fairly investigate this matter. The Police cannot investigate and police themselves. For far too long, and all too frequently, men and women of color who are victims of police violence do not get justice in this country. We implore you to exercise the utmost impartiality, demonstrate integrity in this matter and allow an outside investigative team and prosecutor to fully investigate this matter.
We are prepared to pray for you and for this city and nation as we seek justice in this most recent, and very disturbing police shooting. We expect that you will proceed with absolute transparency, thorough investigation and frequent public statements to assure the citizens that the system works for everyone, irrespective of race.
Rev. Clare F. Twomey, Vista Grande, UCC CS
Rev. Deborah Tinsley, Vista Grande, UCC CS
Rev. Anne Cubbage, Broadmoor Community Church, UCC CS
Rev. Marta Fiori, Black Forest Community, UCC CS
Rev. Heather Haginduff, First Congregational, UCC CS
Rev. Gaye Bosley-Mitchell, Community Congregational Church, UCC Manitou Springs
Rev. Darlene Avery, Church in the Wildwood, UCC Green Mountain Falls
Rev. Sue Artt, Conference Minister for Rocky Mountain Conference, UCC Denver
Rev. Dr. David Bahr, Park Hill Congregational, UCC Denver
Rev. Fred Everson, Holladay, UCC Salt Lake
Rev. Kay Grice, First Plymouth, UCC Englewood
Rev. Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson, First Congregational, UCC Loveland
Rev. Chris Gilmore, Sixth Street, UCC Denver
Rev. Christina Braudaway-Bauman, First Congregational, UCC Boulder