Musings on Aaron Bailey decisions

Decisions have finally come out on the shooting of a black man that used to go to the church I was confirmed at. It was very concerning to me and I did some research over the July 4th weekend which helped me to understand first the procedures which were well explained by our police chief and also why police would shoot before they see a gun.

IMPD announced that there will be a civil rights investigation.

The FBI has opened a civil rights investigation into the police shooting of Aaron Bailey, an unarmed black man who was killed last month by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers.

IMPD Chief Bryan Roach said Tuesday that the Police Department asked for the FBI’s assistance because the community wants an independent review. He and Mayor Joe Hogsett have stressed transparency in their own inquiry.

“I have every confidence in our investigation,” Roach said. “At the same time, I understand there are people in our community who don’t.”

Chief Roach also explained the process would involve a homicide investigation which ended up being with a special prosecutor as well as a hearing on procedures by the police department which would happen after the homicide investigation was complete as the men could not testify before it was determined if they had committed a crime first.

When I also saw that IMPD would be looking at changing policies it also encouraged me because regardless of whether the police were right in this situation or not it is important for professionals to be accountable.  As a mental health professional I understand that mistakes can really hurt people and if people are careless lives can be permanently altered in an unfair way.

Now the results have come in.  The special prosecutor decided to not file charges, then five days later a hearing occurred and the police department recommended the two men be fired. 

special prosecutor assigned to the case determined criminal charges against officers Carlton Howard and Michael Dinnsen were not warranted. IMPD conducted an administrative review separate from the prosecutor and determined the officers’ actions didn’t comply with IMPD’s policies.

Aaron Bailey crashed a car after leading police on a brief chase on June 29; officers shot him when he got out of his car and said they thought he’d reached into the vehicle’s center console to retrieve a weapon. There were no weapons found on him or in his car.

The IMPD Firearms Review Board reviewed the materials in the case and the officers appeared in front of the board for questioning. After the hearing, the board voted unanimously that the officers didn’t comply with their training.

After reviewing the facts presented by the board, IMPD Chief Bryan Roach found there was not sufficient reason to believe deadly force was necessary to affect the arrest of Bailey. He does not believe Bailey posed a threat of serious bodily injury to the officer or anyone else.

It was interesting to see the reactions from both sides which were disturbed for various reasons.  The family and protesters did not like the men getting off, and the conservatives felt like this was just a political move, but was it?  There were two hearings with different standards of consequences for behaviors, and they had different results.

This case is not complete yet as it is unsure whether the recommendation for firing was acted on at which time this article will be edited and completed with the final information.