No charges against officer in fatal 'swatting' call
Wichita, Kan.
   
 
More Today's News:
ߦ   Heroes Down: Gilchrist Deputies Noel Ramirez & Taylor Lindsey Assassinated
ߦ   Former First Lady Barbara Bush's funeral arrangements
ߦ   3 Billings cops disciplined for having sex on city property
ߦ   Child Sex Tourism
ߦ   Dickinson Public Library To Host Teen Job Fair
ߦ   Fallen SAPD officer gives the gift of life to 4 strangers
ߦ   Grandma arrested after killing husband and another woman
ߦ   Homicide on Healey Drive
ߦ   Investigation into Fatal Crash at 2100 State Highway 6 South
ߦ   Man charged with solicitation of capital murder for allegedly trying to hire hitman to kill four
ߦ   Round Rock Man Faces Federal Counterfeiting Charges
ߦ   Texas City Valero Hit By Explosion, Fire
ߦ   Baby killer Genene Jones back in San Antonio court
ߦ   Burnet County Sheriffs Office - Inmate/Arrests Summary
ߦ   Canine Distemper Closes Animal Shelter
ߦ   Charges filed in shooting of deputy constables
ߦ   Constables arrest suspect for Failure to Stop and Render Aid
ߦ   Dickinson PD Will 'Play It Cool' This Summer
ߦ   DWI gets driver $1k fine 10 days in county jail
ߦ   Former FBI Special Agent Pleads Guilty to Leaking Classified National Defense Information
ߦ   Investigation into Fatal Crash at 3000 North Sam Houston Parkway East
ߦ   Local Businessman Sentenced for Credit Card Fraud and ID Theft
ߦ   Major Takedown Dismantles Multi-State Heroin and Fentanyl Network
ߦ   Paris Police Dept - Daily Arrests/Activity Summary
ߦ   Reward Offered for Most Wanted Fugitive, Gang Member from Austin
ߦ   Suspect arrested for Intoxication Assault after crash leaves victim seriously injured
ߦ   UPDATE: Suspect Arrested, Charged in Fatal Crash at 11401 South Post Oak
ߦ   Update: Unified Command responds to gas pipeline fire near Port O'Connor
ߦ   17 Huntsville prisoners on hunger strike after lockdown following feces-throwing, other infractions
ߦ   Brownsville man convicted of stabbing 85-year-old woman with screwdriver gets execution date
ߦ   Constable deputy wounded in shootout in Atascocita
ߦ   David Buckel, prominent gay rights lawyer, burns himself to death in New York to protest global warming
ߦ   Deputy Constable Wounded In Shooting
ߦ   Deputy cries as he describes San Antonio children tied up like dogs
ߦ   Joining Forces to Fight Child Abuse

   Next >>
 
Search Archives:

DA Marc Bennett said there was reasonable concern at the time that Andrew Finch may have been armed with a weapon

By Roxana Hegeman

Associated Press

WICHITA, Kan. — The Kansas police officer who fired the shot that killed a man during a hoax emergency call will not face criminal charges, a prosecutor announced Thursday.

District Attorney Marc Bennett said there was reasonable concern at the time that Andrew Finch may have been armed with a weapon.

The unarmed 28-year-old Wichita man was shot Dec. 28 by police responding to a California man's fake calls about a killing and kidnapping at Finch's home. The person who called said he shot his father in the head and was holding his mother and little brother at gunpoint in a closet in the house.

The shooting drew national attention to a practice called "swatting," in which a person makes up a false report to get emergency responders to descend on an address. The officer who fired the shot, identified only as "officer number one" was stationed across the street, and fired believing Finch was reaching for a weapon when he moved his arm, Bennett said.

"This shooting should not have happened," Bennett said. "But this officer's decision was made in the context of the false call. To charge 'officer number one' would require evidence, not 20/20 hindsight, that it was unreasonable for him to believe in that moment that the man who came to the door posed a risk to the officers near the house."

Chicago civil rights attorney Andrew M. Stroth, who is representing the Finch family, said in a phone interview after the DA's announcement that the family is devastated.

"The district attorney's failure to indict the officer is a disappointment," Stroth said. "Andy Finch was unjustifiably and unreasonably executed in the sanctity of his home."

The family believes Wichita city leaders and the officers are responsible for his death, Stroth said. Police failed to vet the swatting call, the Finch house did not match the description given by the caller, and there was no hostage situation or criminal activity taking place in the home. The family has filed a civil rights lawsuit.

After the announcement from the district attorney's office, Wichita police released a news release saying the incident has weighed on the hearts of the department and the community.

The police department also outlined a series of "next steps" it was taking regarding the incident, including an internal investigation to determine if policies and training were followed, and a review of training and policies to include any recommendations. Those entail both administrative reviews as well as reviews by a Citizens Review Board.

The department said it "recognizes the concern this tragedy has caused and is committed to do everything it can to prevent an incident like this from occurring again."

Tyler Barriss, 25, of Los Angeles has been charged with involuntary manslaughter for allegedly making the deadly swatting call. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on May 22.

Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer has signed legislation that will increase the penalties for making hoax emergency calls when they lead to the injuries or deaths of others.

The new law takes effect July 1 and calls for a presumed sentence of more than 12 years in prisons for a first conviction when a hoax call results in someone's death.

Post a comment
Name/Nickname:
(required)
Email Address: (must be a valid address)
(will not be published or shared)
Comments: (plain text only)
Printer Friendly Format  Printer Friendly Format    Send to a Friend  Send to a Friend    RSS Feed  RSS Feed
  Facebook   Share link on Twitter Tweet  
© 1999-2018 The Police News. All rights reserved.