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Firearms review board to take up Aaron Bailey case; will meet Friday

Aaron Bailey (photo courtesy of his daughter) INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A firearms review board will examine the shooting death of Aaron Bailey by two Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers in June as the administrative phase of the investigation comes to a conclusion. IMPD Chief Bryan Roach outlined the next steps in the case during a news briefing Wednesday morning.

He said the administrative component of the parallel investigation into Bailey’s shooting is nearing an end. Roach told reporters that he needed to wait until the criminal component of the investigation came to a close. A special prosecutor announced Tuesday[1] that there was not enough evidence to charge the two officers who fatally shot Bailey during a June 29 traffic stop[2]. Bailey crashed after leading police on a brief chase; officers shot him when he got out of his car and said they thought he’d reached into the vehicle’s center console to retrieve a weapon.

Roach told reporters Wednesday that he understood that Bailey’s family was frustrated[3] with the ultimate result of the criminal probe. “I understand that the decision of the special prosecutor wasn’t the one they wanted,” Roach said. “I’m grateful for the peaceful and well-organized demonstrations that have occurred in the last few months, and the cooperation that we’ve had with those who’ve wanted to express their concerns about the way things were handled by their police department.” Several protesters took to the streets Tuesday night[4] after the special prosecutor’s decision was made public.

Roach said he appreciated the community dialogue as well as the resolve of IMPD’s officers as they’ve grappled with the shooting and the national climate and frustration that people feel about “systems in society.” With the criminal component of the investigation concluded, the administrative portion will wrap up quickly, Roach said. Materials from the investigation will be sent to the firearms review board, which will take a look at the evidence and determine if the officers violated departmental policy.

The material for review includes the special prosecutor’s findings, information from internal affairs (including statements from the officers), and a tactical evaluation of training from the academy. Roach said he didn’t want a long gap between the end of the criminal probe and the administrative review. The board will meet Friday and will ultimately determine if the officers were in compliance or out of compliance with the department’s policies.

Once it makes its recommendation, Roach can accept it, disagree with it or send it back to the board for further review and to answer any questions he may have. “Ultimately, it will be my decision. If there are any policy violations, any discipline that occurs is my responsibility,” Roach said. “That discipline could run the gamut, and I’m prepared to make that decision based on the information that’s given to me.”

He said he’ll make the determine “as soon as possible” but wants to make sure it’s a “thorough process.”

The board includes the commander of the internal affairs division, the commander of criminal investigations, the commander of the training academy, a lieutenant from the same division as the officers (operations, in this case) and a peer of the two officers (someone with the same rank).

References

  1. ^ A special prosecutor announced Tuesday (fox59.com)
  2. ^ who fatally shot Bailey during a June 29 traffic stop (fox59.com)
  3. ^ that he understood that Bailey’s family was frustrated (fox59.com)
  4. ^ Several protesters took to the streets Tuesday night (fox59.com)

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