INDIANAPOLIS -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation has opened an investigation into potential Civil Rights violations in the shooting death of Aaron Bailey by two Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers.
Police say Bailey was driving just before 2 a.m. on June 29 when police pulled him over for a traffic violation near the intersection of Burdsal Parkway and Riverside Drive. During that stop, Bailey sped from the scene before he crashed into a tree near the intersection of 23rd and Aqueduct streets.
After that crash, two officers fired "multiple" rounds at the vehicle, hitting Bailey. He was taken to the hospital where he later died.
No weapon was found inside the vehicle.
The circumstances surrounding what led up to the shots being fired have not been released.
IMPD Chief Bryan Roach had asked the FBI to run a parallel investigation into the officer-involved shooting. The FBI found enough to open the investigation into potential Civil Rights violations.
Tuesday morning, the FBI released the following statement:
"The Indianapolis FBI Field Office, the Civil Rights Division, and the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana have opened a civil rights investigation into the police action shooting of Aaron Bailey. The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence and will ensure that the investigation is conducted in a fair, thorough and impartial manner. As this is an ongoing investigation we are not able to comment further at this time.”
That investigation will occur along-side IMPD's investigation into the events of the shooting.
This marks the first time the FBI has ever looked into an officer-involved shooting with IMPD.
The FBI describes its Civil Rights investigations on its website:
Since its earliest days, the FBI has helped protect the civil rights of the American people. A dozen of its first 34 special agents, for example, were experts in peonage—the modern-day equivalent of slave labor. The Bureau began battling the KKK as early as 1918, and for years it handled color of law cases involving police brutality. Today, protecting civil rights remains one of its top priorities.
The FBI is the primary federal agency responsible for investigating allegations regarding violations of federal civil rights statutes. These laws are designed to protect the civil rights of all persons—citizens and non-citizens alike—within U.S. territory. Using its full suite of investigative and intelligence capabilities, the Bureau today works closely with its partners to prevent and address hate crime, human trafficking, color of law violations, and Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act violations.
The FBI has also established productive and meaningful liaison relationships with state and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, non-governmental organizations, and community and minority groups to improve reporting of civil rights violations, promote the benefits of sharing information and intelligence, and develop proactive strategies for identifying and addressing trends in this field.
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Timeline of Events of the Aaron Bailey shooting:
- 1:45 a.m.: Officers initiated a traffic stop at Burdsal Parkway and Riverside Drive for a traffic violation (9 minutes long) During that stop the man fled from officers.
- 1:54 a.m.: Officers announced over their radio that they were chasing the man
- 1:54 a.m.: Less than a minute later, the vehicle they were chasing crashed into a tree at 23rd Street and Aqueduct Street
- 1:55 a.m.: Officers announced on radio they were involved in a police action shooting
- 2:02 a.m.: EMS arrived on scene
- 2:05 a.m.: Driver was taken to Eskenazi Hospital
- 2:24 a.m.: Driver was pronounced deceased at Eskenazi Hospital
- 3:00 a.m.: Female passenger was arrested on a narcotics charge