Family, rally raise cry for justice for Aaron Bailey

Aaron Bailey. (Photo Provided)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A cry for justice rose Tuesday from the family of a man shot and killed by two Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers over the prosecutor’s decision not to file criminal charges in the case.

A special prosecutor appointed by the court decided earlier in the day not to file criminal charges against officers Carlton Howard and Michael Dinnsen in the deadly shooting of Aaron Bailey. It happened in June.

A rally was held in downtown Indianapolis just hours after the decision. People in the community came out Tuesday night to show their support for Bailey’s family.

It has been a long four months for family and friends without any answers as to why and what happened until now.

“If we don’t get justice, ya’ll don’t get no peace,” people chanted at the rally. “If we don’t get no justice, ya’ll don’t get no peace.”

A small group spoke up about their frustrations and concerns after the special prosecutor’s decision.

“We waited a long time and we’re still waiting for justice for Aaron Bailey and that day will never come,” said Satchuel Cole, who organized the rally.

People wrote messages in chalk all over the sidewalk of the City-County Building. Christopher Bass told 24-Hour News 8 he doesn’t know the family, but felt compelled to go to the rally.

“It hit a core when I hear something like this is going 50 years later,” Bass said.

The deadly shooting began with a traffic stop and ended with a chase and crash. According to court documents, the officers involved feared for their lives and believed Bailey was reaching for a weapon in the console of the car.

Documents show the officers ordered him to show his hands, but instead Bailey turned and that’s when the officers began shooting.

“I’m upset, I’m mad and I’m tired,” said Erica Bailey, who is Bailey’s daughter. “It’s been four months, and ya’ll couldn’t give me an answer at the beginning and now you want to tell me at the end that it’s over with. That’s ridiculous to me. I don’t understand it.”

Bailey said her father was shot four times in the back.

Documents show police did not find a gun in Bailey’s car.

“Today, when they told me that they were going to let them cops go back to work,” she said, “basically it broke my heart, you hear me? I can’t sleep at night. My family can’t sleep at night.”

The attorney for Bailey’s family told 24-Hour News 8 they have an active civil lawsuit in civil court against the city and police department.

Police Chief Bryan Roach is scheduled to speak with the media Wednesday morning about the case.


Here is a timeline of events since the shooting:

July 11: The FBI announced it has launched a civil rights investigation into the fatal shooting.

July 14: Mayor Joe Hogsett announced new policies including more training on racial bias and bringing in experts to analyze how officers are being trained. He also called for a review of the Citizens Police Complaint Board, and the opening of an IMPD Office of Diversity to track local trends and create a Use of Force Board to review incidents where an officer uses force.

July 15: Hundreds gathered at the Indiana Statehouse, including members of Bailey’s family, and called for justice for Bailey.

July 17: Bailey’s family issued a statement thanking the mayor for the new policies and reviews. “We are encouraged by the Mayor’s words, but anxious to see deadlines and concrete steps taken.”

July 19: Bailey’s family, in an interview with 24-Hour News 8, called for a special prosecutor to review whether the officers’ actions were criminal. The family also said it was looking into a civil lawsuit.

Aug. 10: Family and community activists held a press conference and rally to demand justice for Bailey.

Aug. 22: The Marion County prosecutor filed a request to bring in a special prosecutor to look into Bailey’s fatal shooting, and the family said it was happy to see another step taken in the process. The mayor called on IMPD to fully cooperate with the special prosecutor. The special prosecutor was appointed the next day.

Sept. 21: Bailey’s family — his sister and two surviving adult children — filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis. The lawsuit against IMPD and two officers — named in the lawsuit, Carlton Howard and Michal Dinnsen — asks the court to convene a jury to determine whether the IMPD’s policies violate federal laws and to award the family monetary damages.

Oct. 31: The special prosecutor appointed in the case, St. Joseph County’s Ken Cotter, announces no charges will be filed against the police officers involved in the Bailey shooting. A small rally at the City-County Building and a press conference by Aaron’s daughter followed the announcement from the prosecutor. The FBI said it was continuing its investigation of the fatal shooting.