Senseless death demands swatting death review to regain public’s trust

By

Opinion

April 17, 2018 - 11:00 PM

The tragic, frustrating death of Andrew Finch will remain with Wichitans for some time. No decision on filing charges against the Wichita police officer who shot him, and no decision on the man charged with involuntary manslaughter associated with fake calls to police, will let us forget about a senseless death.

The district attorney’s decision not to file criminal charges against the officer who fired the only shot in the Dec. 28 incident is already receiving widespread criticism, and who’s to say the criticism isn’t valid? Believing an officer shouldn’t shoot someone unless he can identify with certainty that the suspect has a weapon and is threatening others is a completely logical opinion — though Kansas law disagrees.

Now comes an absolutely vital point in the investigation, one that will determine for many the confidence Wichitans have in their police force: The police internal investigation needs to be the most exhaustive, comprehensive effort the department has seen, and the city’s new Citizens Review Board should scrutinize it in public.

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