Indianapolis’ police chief suspended two officers over the fatal shooting of an unarmed black motorist Monday and has recommended they be fired.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Chief Bryan Roach took the actions against Michal Dinnsen and Carlton Howard following an internal administrative review of the June 29 death of Aaron Bailey, 45. Roach recommended their dismissals to the Civilian Police Merit Board. The two officers had been restricted to administrative duties.
A special prosecutor announced last week the officers would not face criminal charges. Authorities have said Bailey pulled over for a traffic stop, but suddenly drove off and later crashed. The officers approached Bailey’s vehicle and fired. The prosecutor said the officers believed Bailey was reaching for a gun. An autopsy found that four bullets hit Bailey in the back.
However, Roach concluded “sufficient reason did not exist to believe that deadly force was necessary to affect the arrest of Mr. Bailey, nor to believe Mr. Bailey posed a threat of serious bodily injury to the officer or any third person,” the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said in a news release.
The chief also concluded the officers failed “to apply their training regarding high-risk traffic stops, which would have allowed them to better assess the situation,” the release said.
The department’s Firearms Review Board, after Dinnsen and Howard appeared before it last week, unanimously concluded the officers’ actions did not comply with the police department’s training and policy.
Bailey’s family sued the city in September, contending the two officers used excessive force and that Bailey posed no threat to them. Dinnsen is white and Howard is biracial.
Craig Karpe, the attorney for Bailey's estate, released a statement saying, “The Bailey family is disappointed that the officers will not be prosecuted, but glad they will at least be terminated.”
A phone message seeking comment was left for Rick Snyder, president of the Fraternal Order of Police lodge in Indianapolis.