Swatting victim's mother demands transparency

Posted: Updated:
Andrew Finch Andrew Finch

The Wichita City Council agenda was filled with names on the first page, all of them residents who wanted to voice concerns about the investigation into Andrew Finch’s death. The Wichita man was killed in late December when police shot him inside his own home. They were responding to a call about a hostage situation, but it was all a hoax. A swatter called police, which put them on alert.

The people who approached the council podium weren’t happy that details, including the officer involved in the shooting’s name, haven’t been released.

“I’ve never been more embarrassed to live in the city of Wichita,” one man told the council.

Sitting in the crowd and watching it all was Finch’s mother, Lisa. While residents have voiced their concerns in the past, it was the first time she came to a council meeting to here it in person. And so far, she’s not impressed with the city’s response.

“The lies from the politicians, from the city of Wichita. The lies that they tell – people have been so dishonest,” Finch said. “If this is an investigation, why are they not speaking to us? The people that were there? The people that this affected the most?”

Wichita police said in December they thought Finch was reaching for a weapon when an officer opened fire, but Finch wasn’t armed. Lisa was there when it all happened.

“This isn’t an investigation, it’s a sweep under the rug kind of deal,” she said.

Her attorneys argued in a lawsuit filed in January, that the case was an incident of police brutality, that officers violated policy because no hostage negotiators had arrived before an officer approached the home.

Finch wants to know why and she also wants the name of the officer who opened fire released.

Police Chief Gordon Ramsay has refused that request, saying in a statement earlier this year – “In recent weeks I have received threats of people shooting my children and wishing bad things upon them.  Society has changed. Patience and civility have been lost, along with a respect and understanding of due process.”

Council members didn’t respond to the statements made at Tuesday morning’s council meeting. The city’s mayor afterward said he still has full confidence in the Wichita Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office.

“I don’t have any reason to doubt our district attorney will do a fair and full investigation,” he said.

Finch disagrees and is calling on oversight in the case.

“If they wanted justice for all, they would get an independent investigation going,” she said.

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