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Several hundred rally for Aaron Bailey at the Statehouse

July 15, 2017 | Indianapolis Star | Link to Article


About 200 hundred people went to a rally Saturday in Downtown Indianapolis to seek answers and action in the investigations into the fatal police shooting last month of Aaron Bailey.

Chants of "Fists up, fight back" and "No justice, no peace" could be heard at the peaceful rally outside the Indiana Statehouse demanding justice for Bailey, an unarmed black man who was fatally shot by police in Indianapolis in June. Chants of "It is our duty to fight for freedom" also could be heard.

The rally was organized by DON'T SLEEP, a social justice advocacy group.

Speakers at the rally included Bailey's family members as well as representatives of Indy10 Black Lives Matter Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Congregation Action Network, Indy Pride and other groups.

"This was someone's father, this was someone's brother, this was someone's son, who had his life stolen," said Dominic Dorsey, president of DON'T SLEEP.

DON'T SLEEP said it is seeking charges against the officers and the hiring of a special prosecutor to investigate the death of Bailey, who was shot by two Indianapolis Metropolitan Police officers on June 29, after he fled during a traffic stop on Indianapolis' north side and crashed his car. 

Bailey's daughter, 26-year-old Erika Bailey, wore a T-shirt that displayed the slogan "R.I.P. Daddy" and a photo of him. 

"We have to think about other little girls. We gotta stand up because if we don't, they may lose their fathers, too," she said.

Two of Bailey's sisters, Kimberly Brown and Stacey Bailey,wereatthe rally, as well as nieces and nephews.

"Aaron was a family person, very involved with his family," Brown said. "He was our protector."

"He can't tell us what happened that night. … We can't get those answers from him."

Related content:

Police changes: After police shooting of unarmed man, IMPD to change use-of-force policy

Update on case: Officials still don't know why 2 IMPD officers shot Aaron Bailey

Civil rights case: FBI opens civil rights investigation into police shooting of Aaron Bailey

Indy Pride Executive Director Christopher Handberg spoke at the rally, saying "It is time for the LGBTQ community to say that black lives matter."

SatchuelCole, vice president of DON'T SLEEP, said Saturday that her group is seeking an indictment, not a grand jury, in the case.

"At this point in time, they have no evidence that shows why the officers should have opened fire," Cole said. "There's nothing that Aaron Bailey did that would have made them fear for their lives." 

On Friday, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said IMPD will implement a number of changes in the wake of the shooting, such as implicit bias training for officers and a change in the department's use-of-force policies. 

Hogsett also vowed that the investigation into Bailey's death will proceed quickly and with "as much openness and as much transparency as due process will allow."

Cole said Saturday that city officials were "making some progress" with the new policies announced by the mayor, but she said they need an "absolute timetable" for when those changes will take place.

DON'T SLEEP held an earlier rally to seek answers in the case June 30 at City Market in Downtown Indianapolis.