Indy mayor calls for Merit Board system to be changed after officers in Bailey shooting are cleared

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett is calling for the city’s Merit Board system to be changed after the two officers who fatally shot Aaron Bailey were cleared of any wrongdoing and will be able to keep their jobs.

Prior to the Merit Board’s decision, IMPD Chief Bryan Roach had recommended that Officers Carlton Howard and Michel Dinnsen be terminated because they did not follow their training.

In a statement released shortly after Civilian Police Merit Board announced its decision, Hogsett said the system must be changed “if we are to continue building bridges of trust between our brave police officers and the communities they proudly serve.”

The Merit Board is made up of seven members, who are appointed to serve four year terms. Unlike many boards and commissions, they do not serve at-will and cannot be removed or replaced from office by newly elected officials.

He wrote that he will be engaging with community and public safety leaders in the coming days to assess what can be considered to help restore faith in the police discipline process.

“For our community as a whole, I simply ask that even as today’s decision creates understandable sadness and frustration, it is only through unity, not division, that we can continue to move our city forward,” Hogsett wrote. “Let us use this moment as an opportunity to come together and resolve that we will honor those affected by this tragedy through a commitment to peaceful change.”

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