City settles with family of Aaron Bailey in lawsuit over fatal shooting


Aaron Bailey (photo courtesy of his daughter)

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- After five hours of talks behind closed doors in federal court, the City of Indianapolis and the family of Aaron Bailey have reached a settlement in the killing of the unarmed man by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) officers one year ago this week.

A source with knowledge of the lawsuit settlement said the deal includes a cash reward to the family and a commitment by IMPD to continue its training in de-escalation techniques.

Last June 29th, Bailey was shot to death after wrecking his car while fleeing officers on the city’s northwest side.

Officers Michal Dinnsen and Carlton Howard said they feared Bailey was reaching for a gun when he refused their commands to surrender.

No gun was found.

Dinnsen and Howard were not charged criminally by a special prosecutor and retained their jobs after Police Chief Bryan Roach’s attempts to fire them were overturned by the IMPD Merit Board.

This settlement avoids a lengthy and costly federal court trial and permits Chief Roach and Mayor Joe Hogsett to pursue this summer’s anti-violence strategy without the distractions of a pending civil lawsuit.

In the suit, the family charged IMPD with indifference to Bailey’s life and criticized the department for a lack of training in implicit bias and de-escalation.

The financial settlement is governed by a confidentiality agreement at this time. Attorney Craig Karpe said the Bailey family regrets the entire incident and still respects the City of Indianapolis.

The City and IMPD will not accept liability as a condition to settle the suit, according to a person with knowledge of the agreement.

Also, the settlement does not require retraining, liability or financial responsibility of Howard and Dinnsen.

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