Monday, April 4, 2011
A jury has been seated for the trial against a Wichita Police Officer for vehicular homicide. Officer Garrett Shaddix was one of two officers who were racing to a disturbance call in South Wichita in late December, 2009.
Thirty-year-old Christopher Perkins was stopped in the roadway, waiting to make a left turn onto El Monte St. from Hydraulic. He waited for the first officer to pass, but may not have seen the second officer's patrol car when he turned right in front of it. Perkins later died of his injuries from the collision with Shaddix.
Neither of the officers were responding to the call using their emergency lights and sirens. However, Deputy Chief Tom Stolz said they were not breaking protocol.
"This was not the type of call, though it was a serious call in nature and one which would require some quick response," Stolz said, "It's not the kind of call that would allow officers to put the red light and siren on."
The city of Wichita has previously settled a civil matter with Perkins' family for the amount of $300,000. The vehicular homicide charge is a criminal matter, though it is only a misdemeanor offense.
Shaddix is still employed by the Wichita Police Department, though only in an administrative capacity.