Religious leaders and protesters gathered before the meeting where a merit board will decide whether or not to fire two officers responsible for the 2017 death of an unarmed black man, Aaron Bailey.
Ahead of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department decision, faith leaders held a vigil to pray Indianapolis will not become what they call another failure of justice.
Aaron Bailey was a member of Christ Church Cathedral. Dean Stephen Carlsen spoke at the vigil.
“I want people to remember Aaron Bailey as a person – not as a case, not as an issue. A real human being,” Carlsen says.
Carlsen says he hopes the merit board fires the officers. Following an investigation, a special prosecutor decided not to press charges in November.
“Frequently, no one is held accountable at all for unarmed citizens being shot in the back," Carlsen says. "And that just can’t happen. That can’t even happen in a warzone, and it’s happening in our streets.”
IMPD Chief Brian Roach has been vocally supportive of firing Officers Michal Dinnsen and Carlton Howard. Christ Missionary Baptist Church Pastor John Girton Jr. says he’s pleased, but it’s only a first step.
"Until we see a systemic change that recognizes that this must stop on every level – until then, this is nice and I appreciate it and I want him to keep doing it – but it really goes well beyond that,” Girton Jr. says.
A decision will be made by the IMPD merit board Thursday.