Special prosecutor appointed in Aaron Bailey death investigation

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced Tuesday afternoon a special prosecutor has been requested in a fatal officer-involved shooting.

Kenneth P. Cotter of St. Joseph County has been appointed to be the prosecutor on the case. Curry said he understands how this case relates to sensitive national issues and said they can't base their decisions on public opinion.

Cotter will have to determine if a crime was committed by officers or if a grand jury should decide whether or not to indict them.

Aaron Bailey

On June 29, police said Bailey drove away from a traffic stop and crashed his car on the northwest side. Two IMPD officers opened fire, striking Bailey. An autopsy report given to CBS4 by an attorney representing Bailey’s family showed he was hit four times in the back. Police said they did not find a weapon in his vehicle.

Whether the shooting was justified is under investigation. There is both a criminal and administrative investigation into the shooting, and the FBI opened a civil rights probe.

In a YouTube video released last week, Chief Bryan Roach said on the administrative side, the officers involved were interviewed, cooperating and on administrative duties.

He said the criminal investigation was passed on to prosecutors and that information obtained during the investigation was passed on to the FBI.

“The prosecutor will then determine whether to make a decision himself, send it to a grand jury or he could also assign a special prosecutor,” Roach said in the video.

Nearly two months later, family members say they have few answers. They and community activists have previously asked for a special prosecutor to be assigned to the case.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett issued this statement:

“I applaud today’s appointment and I have directed IMPD to fully cooperate with the special prosecutor’s office. I also want to echo the hope of many in our community that this criminal investigation will be completed both responsibly and expeditiously. Prosecutor Curry deserves our thanks for his efforts to promote transparency and ensure the public’s trust in this ongoing criminal investigation.”

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