IMPD Chief recommends firing officers involved Aaron Bailey shooting death


INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - IMPD Chief Bryan Roach recommended Monday morning that the two officers involved in Aaron Bailey's shooting death be fired.

The announcement came nearly one week after the special prosecutor assigned to the case declined to file charges against the officers. Kenneth Cotter said at the time, "Based upon the results of the investigation as outlined above, there is insufficient evidence to refute either the officer's claim of subjective fear or the objective reasonableness of that fear."

Bailey's daughter, Erica, told reporters after Cotter declined to file charges that she felt like the system ailed her family.

The 45-year-old was shot and killed by officers June 29 after he drove away from a traffic stop.

No weapon was ever found on him or in his car.

Bailey's family and supporters have held rallies in downtown Indianapolis on the 29th of each month ever since asking for justice in the case.

Independent of the special prosecutor’s investigation, IMPD conducted a full administrative review. That review considered the findings of both criminal investigations and an internal investigation focused on training and/or policy violations which may have contributed to the tragedy.

Members of IMPD’s Firearms Review Board reviewed those materials, and convened Friday to question both of the officers. Afterward, the Board unanimously voted that the officers’ actions did not comply with IMPD training and policy.

On Saturday, Chief Roach and his executive staff met to review the Firearms Review Board’s findings. He decided that there wasn't sufficient reason for the officers to believe that deadly force was necessary, nor to believe Bailey posed a threat of serious bodily injury to the officers or any bystanders.

"There were other reasonable options available to the officers in this incident," Chief Roach said in a press release.

Roach went on to say that even though the officers said Bailey refused an order to get out of his car after having led them on a chase in his car, deadly force wasn't needed.

"Such harm to the public trust requires the separation of the two officers from their employment with IMPD. Effectively immediately, Chief Roach has suspended officers Carlton Howard and Michael Dinnsen and recommends their termination to the Civilian Police Merit Board," an IMPD release said.

Mayor Joe Hogsett issued a statement after Chief Roach's announcement saying, in full:

“Indianapolis is blessed to have a police department made up of men and women that wake up each morning dedicated to protecting and serving this city. The work they do is difficult and at times dangerous, yet they remain steadfast in their commitment to building and strengthening bridges between our law enforcement and the community. We owe it to these brave officers to ensure that those who represent the police department, and our city, are upholding the high standards that make the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department one of the best in the country.

"Throughout our history, Indianapolis has always been at its best when our residents are united by those compassionate principles that call us together as one city. And for two years, I have dedicated myself and this administration to the pursuit and furtherance of those things that unite us, rather than divide us. It is because of that work, and the resiliency I observe across our city every day, that I remain more confident than ever in the community and public safety leaders who continue to work to grow and deepen bonds of trust between our neighborhoods and police department.”

Bailey's family has filed a civil lawsuit against the city of Indianapolis, IMPD and the two officers involved, Carlton Howard and Michael Dinnsen.