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IMPD Chief Roach grateful for peace after no charges filed against officers in Aaron Bailey shooting

Posted at 8:33 AM, Nov 01, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS -- The two officers who shot and killed Aaron Bailey are currently in non-police roles with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Chief Bryan Roach said.

In a press conference Wednesday, Roach said the two officers are still being paid by IMPD, but are not performing police duties. Their status should change when the administrative process is completed.

Bailey was driving just before 2 a.m. on June 29 when police pulled him over for a traffic violation near the intersection of Burdsal Parkway and Riverside Drive. For still-unknown reasons, Bailey sped from the scene and crashed into a tree near the intersection of 23rd and Aqueduct streets.

Moments after the crash, two IMPD officers who had pursued Bailey exited their vehicle and fired multiple rounds, striking Bailey four times. Bailey did not have a weapon in the vehicle. 

"If we have an officer that's fearful and we have somebody that's pulled over that's fearful, that's a bad combination," Roach said.

Tuesday afternoon, St. Joseph County Prosecutor Kenneth P. Cotter announced no charges would be filed against the two officers.

Cotter, who was assigned as special prosecutor in the case, said there was “insufficient evidence to refute either the officer’s claim of subjective fear or the objective reasonableness of that fear.” 

PREVIOUS | No charges for IMPD officers in fatal shooting of Aaron Bailey

The first of three investigations into what happened June 29 is complete, but there is still an FBI investigation and an administrative investigation. The administrative investigation consists of the Internal Affairs and the Training Academy looking into the case. Since the criminal investigation is over, the administrative one will be able to be completed. 

Investigators had to wait on the statements of the officers once the criminal investigation ended.

The two officers will go before the firearms review board, which is made up of:

  • The commander of Internal Affairs
  • The commander of the Criminal Investigations Division
  • The commander of the Training Academy
  • A lieutenant from the division of the officers
  • A peer of officers' rank

The board will meet to discuss the investigation on Friday, one week before the two officers will go before the board. The board will make a recommendation on whether or not the officers were in compliance with IMPD policy.

Roach will then agree with the recommendation, disagree with the recommendation or send it back to the board for more information.

If it's determined the officers made any policy violations in the shooting, Roach can discipline the officers.

"I'll do that as soon as possible," Roach said. "At the same time, making sure that this is a thorough process and any questions that can be answered, I've had those answered."

At Wednesday's press conference, Roach also expressed his thanks that the protests community members have had since the fatal shooting have been peaceful and well-organized.

After the decision not to charge the two officers was announced, Erica Bailey, Aaron's daughter, called for peace and justice.

"Today when they told me the cops were going home, I felt like someone else would get killed,” Erica said. “I don’t feel like cops should shoot somebody unarmed because they’re scared – then don’t be an officer... it’s so tore-up. Other people might be in danger, but we’re supposed to trust the law and right now that’s really hard to do."

The Bailey family is suing the city on the claim that a "culture of indifference" has permeated the department. The lawsuit claims IMPD and Indianapolis failed to train its officers on the use of force and implicit bias. The lawsuit also charges the city with failing to hold its officers accountable for not using body cameras.

In July, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced new policies to help train IMPD about implicit bias.

MORE COVERAGE | Officers knew Aaron Bailey's passenger was "being monitored" in a homicide case prior to his shooting |  Man was shot by two officers 'multiple' times | Man killed by IMPD officers was in-and-out of jail, convicted of 14 felonies | IMPD Chief: Officer-involved shooting a 'true test' of relationship between police & community | Family of Aaron Bailey sues Indianapolis, IMPD, officers involved in shooting | Former landlord of Aaron Bailey shares memories, reacts to shooting death | NAACP responds to officer-involved shooting of Aaron Bailey | Mayor Hogsett will implementing changes after IMPD fatal shooting

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