INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The fate of two IMPD officers is now in the hands of a civilian merit board.
The family of Aaron Bailey is optimistic they’ll follow Chief Bryan Roach’s recommendation to fire the two officers involved in Bailey’s shooting death.
Officers shot Bailey, who was unarmed, after he drove away from a traffic stop and crashed.
In a statement, Roach said Howard and Dinnsen failed to follow their IMPD training and had other reasonable options during the June traffic stop.
‘Today after I found out, I went there, just to let him know a little bit about what’s going on,” said Erica Bailey about visiting her father’s grave Monday.
For the first time in months, Erica Bailey went to fill her father in on what she considered the best news she’d gotten since his death.
“Last week I felt like that state and the system didn’t really care very much about the situation, but today when I found out I felt like they actually sat down this time and went over the paperwork and actually did their jobs,” said Bailey.
Just last week, the special prosecutor assigned to Bailey’s case decided not to press charges against officers Carlton Howard and Michael Dinnsen.
The two officers previously said they believe Bailey reached for a gun and they shot him in self-defense.
No weapon was ever found.
Still, the special prosecutor said he couldn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it wasn’t self-defense.
“The announcement that was made today is that the police officers failed to follow procedure and failed to follow their training and that in and of itself is not a criminal act,” said Craig Karpe, the family attorney. “That is not enough to charge the police officers. “
For the family, the prosecutor’s decision not to file charges made today’s recommendation by the chief more important to Bailey’s family.
“It was tears of joy or release,” said Kimberly Brown, Bailey’s sister. “We felt some type of release, the burden taken off of us a little bit.”
Karpe though still believes the decision-making given behind the firing is an attempt to deflect the civil rights lawsuit they’ve filed.
“In their press release announcing that they’re supporting firing the police officers today, they’re pointing it back at the police officers and saying, “We have the training, we have the procedures, they just fail to follow it,” said Karpe.
Bailey’s daughter also wants to focus on the improved training she says IMPD officers need.
But she says a recommendation from Indy’s top cop to fire two of his own is already a positive step.
“I just still honestly can’t believe it, but I know that at the same time, me and my family or the community, we can’t stop fighting because we don’t want to see nobody else’s family go through the pain we’re going through,” said Bailey.