Internal Investigation of Bailey Shooting Complete; Board to Issue Recommendations to Chief on Friday
(INDIANAPOLIS) - With a prosecutor ruling the police shooting of Aaron Bailey was self-defense, an internal review is nearing the finish line as well.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Chief Bryan Roach says internal investigators have completed their examination of Bailey's death in June after a brief police chase. Roach says that probe was frozen until special prosecutor Kenneth Cotter announced he wouldn't file charges, because police officers don't have a Fifth Amendment right to refuse to answer questions in an administrative investigation. Roach says releasing their interviews with investigators while the criminal probe was in progress would have jeopardized the officers' rights.
With one investigation done, Roach says the internal findings will be forwarded to IMPD's Firearms Review Board of three commanders and a lower-ranking officer. That panel will meet Friday behind closed doors to discuss whether Officers Carlton Howard and Michael Dinnsen followed department policies in the shooting, and whether Bailey's death calls those policies into question. Those findings, in turn, will go to Roach for a final decision on whether and what discipline is appropriate.
The FBI is still conducting a third investigation, into whether the officers violated Bailey's civil rights.
Cotter's 16-page report says Howard's suspicions were aroused when he spotted Bailey's car lingering at a gas station, with Bailey declining to pull into traffic until Howard's patrol car had gone by. A check of the license plate revealed Bailey's license was suspended, and Howard pulled the car over.
Howard told prosecutors Bailey was acting nervous, and a computer check on Bailey's passenger found a request to question her for information on a homicide case. When Howard asked Bailey to get out of the car, Bailey instead hit the gas, but crashed a short distance away when the road dead-ended.
Cotter's report says the officers reported seeing Bailey rummaging in the car's center console, thought he was looking for a gun, and ordered him to put his hands up. Cotter says IMPD training specifically warns officers to be alert for suspects "digging" for a weapon. The officers say his passenger complied, but Bailey kept pawing through the console, and the officers opened fire. No gun was found.
IMPD Chief Bryan Roach (Photo: Eric Berman)