Many Police Shootings, No Charges in Wichita

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Last December, Andrew Finch of Wichita, Ks., opened his front door to a horde of shouting police officers. Ten seconds later, he was fatally shot in the head — yet the officer who pulled the trigger isn’t the one being charged with his death, reports In Justice Today. The events were set in motion by three Call of Duty gamers fighting over a $1.50 wager. Gamer Tyler Barriss, prank-called Wichita 911, saying he was suicidal, had killed his father, and was holding others hostage at the address that one of the other gamers had provided as his own. The target of the prank didn’t actually live there; Andrew Finch and his family did.

Ten Wichita police officers and three deputies surrounded the house. When Finch exited the home to see what the commotion was about, he threw his hands into the air in surrender. Then, after becoming startled, he put one hand down for a second. That’s when a police sniper fired from 50 yards away, killing him. Finch’s mother has filed suit. On April 12, Wichita District Attorney Marc Bennett announced that he would not bring charges against the officer who killed Finch. The city has refused to name the officer who fired the fatal shot. Wichita has a ratio of one shooting for every 120 officers, about 11 times higher than the national average. Wichita officers were involved in at least 29 shootings between 2010 and 2015, 15 of which were fatal. The DA has determined that every one of these shootings was justifiable. And in 95 percent of police shootings there, Wichita officials have also shielded the officers’ names from the public. A newly formed citizens advisory board will review the case, and the police department says it is conducting an internal investigation.

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