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Abdul: Get the Facts First

Don't rush to judgement in Aaron Bailey shooting

You all know by now when it comes to crime,  I have minimal sympathy for people who break the law, and bad things happen to them in the process.


With that said, my legal and journalistic training mandate getting the facts first before making a judgment call.  You can do some informed speculation based on what you know at the time, but getting the facts first and straight tend to resolve a multitude of issues.


Someone needs to tell that to Indy CAN.


The social justice warriors are back, and they are calling for Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry to file criminal charges against two IMPD police officers involved in the shooting death of 45-year old Aaron Bailey Thursday morning on the near north side following a police chase.   


In a statement, Indy CAN said, “Prosecutor Terry Curry must immediately file criminal charges in this matter and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. Police Chief Roach should challenge the narrative coming out of his force and do his part to support a fair and impartial investigation into the killing of Aaron Bailey. And everyone must demand accountability and justice for the loss of life.”


First of all, there are two investigations taking place, one criminal and administrative.  So the investigation these guys want is already being done.  Secondly, the call for the immediate filing of criminal charges seems a bit premature, don’t you think?   If the investigation concludes that the officers acted outside the boundaries of the law, I have full faith that Curry will bring the appropriate charges.  But would it really kill anyone to get the facts first?


And while we’re at it, remember that informed speculation concept I mentioned earlier.  Here’s a little of that right now.  Bailey was not unfamiliar with law enforcement.  According to my colleagues at RTV 6, he’d been the subject of 16 police reports since 2014, including being a suspect in cases involving “theft, robbery, auto theft and carjacking.”  And he managed to amass 11 felonies since 1996.



Secondly, from what we know at the moment, this wasn’t an instance where the cops pulled up to a corner, and Bailey started running.   This incident occurred during a traffic stop at 1:45 a.m. at Burdsal Parkway and Riverside Drive.  During the stop, which was nine minutes long, Bailey thought it would be a good idea to take off.  So he did.  He led police on a two-mile chase, making a couple of turns before crashing near 23rd and Fall Creek.  


Now, this is where we have to do some fact finding because it is believed that when the officers told Bailey to get out of the car and put his hand up, instead of reaching up, he reached down and then multiple shots were fired.  He did not have a weapon, but his passenger was arrested on a drug charge.


Did the officers act appropriately?  That’s what the investigation is for, and this is why we grand juries and finders of fact.  I understand the heightened anxiety between some communities and law enforcement, but Indianapolis is not one of them.  If there were, there would have been a lot more issues surrounding the last 15 fatal police actions shootings since 2014.


So how about we get all the facts first, before forming a lynch mob.  Getting all the facts and basing a decision on that evidence never harmed anyone, except those trying to push a narrative that the facts don’t substantiate.




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