City pays Aaron Bailey family $650,000 in civil lawsuit

Posted at 10:10 AM, Jun 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-26 21:09:02-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- The City of Indianapolis has agreed to pay the family of Aaron Bailey $650,000, settling the civil lawsuit related to the police shooting nearly one year ago. 

Bailey was fatally shot by two Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers on June 29, 2017, following a traffic stop. He was unarmed when he was killed.

The settlement resolves a federal civil suit filed against the City of Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, and Officers Carlton Howard and Michael Dinnsen by Bailey’s family last September. 

The lawsuit argued that Howard and Dinnsen violated Bailey’s Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights by using excessive force against him after he fled a traffic stop.

The details of the settlement were released Tuesday morning. 

In addition to the money, the city agreed to continue de-escalation training for all IMPD members. The training is designed to help officers avoid interactions that escalate into something similar to what happened to Bailey.

Tuesday morning, IMPD Chief Bryan Roach said he would visit with Bailey's family in the next month. Roach said the department has extended an invitation to the Bailey family to attend the training. 

A special prosecutor appointed to review the shooting found no cause to bring criminal charges against the officers, and both Carlton and Dinnsen were cleared to return to duty by the Indianapolis Civilian Police Merit Board in May – a rejection of Chief Bryan Roach’s recommendation that they be fired.

The Bailey family released the following statement on Tuesday regarding the settlement:

"After a long and difficult process, the family of Aaron Bailey has chosen to settle their suit against the City of Indianapolis, Officer Michal Dinnsen, and Officer Carlton Howard. The Estate of Bailey filed its complaint with the Indiana Southern District Court for the killing of the unarmed Aaron Bailey by the two Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers on June 29, 2017. The complaint sought relief under 42 USC 1983 for deadly injury and violations of the 4th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution by the officers and the City of Indianapolis.

As part of the settlement, the City of Indianapolis has agreed to implement de-escalation training for all members of IMPD. A series of public meeting will be held to discuss the training program with the public. The family of Aaron Bailey recognizes that successful de-escalation in police encounters requires cooperation both officers and civilians. They hope the public will participate in the open forum, with the goal of stopping future needless deaths.

The Family of Aaron Bailey extends its gratitude to the City of Indianapolis for their efforts to resolve this tragic situation. They ask for privacy as they continue to mourn the loss of their father and brother. The Bailey family prays they and the City of Indianapolis can move on to a better future."

John Kautzman, attorney for Officers Howard and Dinnsen, released the following statement regarding the settlement on their behalf. 

"Officers Howard and Dinnsen are pleased that the lawsuit against them has been settled and dismissed with no finding or admission of wrongdoing by either officer. 

Although each of the independent entities that reviewed this unfortunate incident ‎found no improper use of force, we recognize that the City has the right to settle lawsuits as it sees fit based upon avoidance of expense and uncertainty. 

The officers look forward to returning to IMPD and helping this community move forward."

READ MORE | Civilian Merit Board clears IMPD officers in Aaron Bailey shooting in 5-2 vote | In emotional testimony, officer recounts fatal shooting of Aaron Bailey | Officer in Aaron Bailey shooting: ‘I thought I was going to die that night’ | IMPD Chief Bryan Roach grilled at termination hearing for officers who shot Aaron Bailey | IMPD Ofc. Carlton Howard, cleared in Aaron Bailey case, subject of lawsuit in a second shooting