Mother of Andrew Finch demands answers after deadly swatting call

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Andrew Finch Andrew Finch
Lisa Finch addresses Wichita City Council on Dec. 18, 2018 Lisa Finch addresses Wichita City Council on Dec. 18, 2018
Tyler Barriss Tyler Barriss

It's been nearly a year since a Wichita police officer shot and killed an unarmed man following a hoax emergency call. And the family of 28-year-old Andrew Finch are asking for answers once again. 

"I want reform in the Wichita PD," Lisa Finch, Andrew's mother, said during Tuesday's Wichita City Council meeting. "If this were your family member or child, I want each to answer this honestly:  What would you do? What would you consider fair if this was your child or family member?"

Mayor Jeff Longwell said the council and the community grieve with the Finch family, but Lisa says that's not enough. 

"If they grieve with me, why are they not reaching out?" she said. "Why are they letting this continue to go on? Having to pay the lawyer that they have, no matter how long it takes."

Last December 28, Andrew Finch was unarmed when he was killed by an officer responding to a fake 911 or "swatting" call. Earlier this year, the Finch family hired a lawyer and filed a civil lawsuit against the City of Wichita.

The city responded to that suit by denying the claims. 

"This entire community shares the empathy and grieving for the family," Mayor Longwell said. "Can't say much more than that because we have an ongoing lawsuit that we have to work our way through." 

The Finch family expects to have mediation talks with the city on the civil case next month. And they'll host a vigil on the anniversary of Andrew's death. 

Finch family advocate Ann Jones said, "Nothing's going to make it better. You can't bring their daddy back. But we have to do the best we can, and if the city would just show his family some support, that would be really great."

The vigil will be at 6:30 p.m. on Friday the 28th and Seneca and McCormick. 

The man charged with making that hoax emergency call, 26-year-old Tyler Barriss of Los Angeles, is charged at the state level with involuntary manslaughter, giving a false alarm and interference with law enforcement. Trial is scheduled to begin March 4, 2019.

Prosecutors say he falsely reporting a shooting and kidnapping following a dispute over a $1.50 bet in a Call of Duty WWII video game between two gamers. Wichita police responded and Finch was fatally shot at his home.

Wichita Police Officer Charley Davidson said the department can't comment due to pending litigation. The officer who shot Finch, Justin Rapp, is currently an officer.

Barriss pleaded guilty last month to a total of 51 federal charges initially filed in California and the District of Columbia. Read the plea agreement here