A special prosecutor has been appointed in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black driver by Indianapolis police officers.
Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said Tuesday that St. Joseph County Prosecutor Kenneth Cotter has been appointed by a judge to investigate the shooting of 45-year-old Aaron Bailey.
Authorities say Bailey had been pulled over for a traffic stop when he suddenly drove off early on June 29. A short pursuit ended when Bailey crashed into a fence. Officers Michal Dinnsen and Carlton Howard then approached the vehicle and fired.
Bailey’s family says an autopsy found he was shot in the back four times.
Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry says he believes his office could handle the case but was worried about public perception.
The office is also prosecuting the killing of Southport Police Lieutenant Aaron Allan, which occurred one month after the officer-involved shooting death of Bailey.
Police said no gun was found at the scene, but they haven’t described what led up to the shooting.
The officers have been placed on administrative leave.
Satchuel Cole, vice president of activist group Don’t Sleep, was at the press conference. The organization began a campaign in July to call for Curry’s office to name a special prosecutor.
“Terry Curry might prosecute officers when they have drunk driving charges, or when they beat their wives, but not when they kill unarmed black men,” Cole says.
Curry says his office will begin to work with Cotter’s later this week to provide everything from the investigation up to this point. The FBI has opened a civil rights investigation into the shooting.
Lauren Chapman contributed to this story.