Trial date set in civil lawsuit filed against officers in Aaron Bailey shooting

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A civil lawsuit filed against the city of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department in an officer-involved shooting will move forward.

A special prosecutor decided in October not to file criminal charges against the officers involved in the fatal shooting of Aaron Bailey. The federal civil trial is scheduled for March 25, 2019. It would be a jury trial, but it’s also possible the two sides could come to a settlement.

Bailey’s estate brought the civil suit against the city, IMPD and the two officers involved: Carlton Howard and Michal Dinnsen. The civil lawsuit alleges the shooting was unreasonable and violated Bailey’s constitutional rights. Bailey’s family is also seeking punitive damages.

Bailey was shot and killed during an early morning traffic stop on June 29. IMPD said officers stopped his car for a traffic violation, but then Bailey drove off and crashed into a tree near 23rd and Aqueduct streets. Officers shot Bailey, who was unarmed, after he got out of the vehicle. They said they believed he’d reached for a gun and shot him in self-defense.

After the special prosecutor declined to file charges, IMPD Chief Bryan Roach recommended the termination of both officers. Roach said the officers didn’t follow their training and had other reasonable options during the traffic stop.

Ultimately, the decision on the fate of Howard and Dinnsen rests in the hands of a civilian merit board. Bailey’s family hopes the board will follow the chief’s recommendation to fire the officers.