November 8, 2012 – Wichita, Kansas – The Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office has released its official ruling in the March police shooting of Marquez Smart, who died of his wounds. The DA has found that the officers’ were justified in shooting Smart, who was 23, had no criminal record, and was not in a gang, nor known to carry or own a firearm.
The DA’s report relies heavily on witness statements from the chaotic scene that night, as several crowded clubs closed their doors for the night, filling Old Town’s Mosely Street with intoxicated patrons.
There is not one shred of physical evidence tying Marquez Smart to the 45. caliber pistol police say Smart dropped as he was shot. There is not one shred of physical evidence tying Smart to either of the magazine cartridges, nor any of the shells casings that were fired, or on the individual bullets that were still contained within the magazines. Smart’s fingerprints were not found on the gun, the magazine cartridges or the bullets.
The gun itself, was stolen from a local business in 2009, and the police have no leads in that case.
Furthermore, there is no mention of the presence of gunshot residue consistent with someone having recently fired a weapon, in the DA’s report, or in Smart’s autopsy report, which was released to the family a few weeks ago. Had Smart fired a .45 caliber pistol multiple times, as police claim, there would at the very least be trace residue on his hand and arm.
The police, despite having interviewed multiple witnesses, have uncovered no apparent motive for Smart to open fire upon a crowd. The police do know that there were several “active, documented gang members” in the direct vicinity of the shooting, at the time the incident occurred.
As it stands, if Marquez Smart were alive today, the DA would likely not have enough evidence to take Smart to trial for the shooting they accuse him of. The witness statements are not credible, because the witnesses have not been cross-examined, and the only witnesses mentioned in the report support the DA’s version of the story, which other witnesses have refuted.
Furthermore, a shooting in a crowded place is much like a car wreck. Multiple witnesses can all view the same event and come to very different conclusions as to what happened.
This case sounds very much like a gang-related shooting. Gang members, in a ritualistic fashion, use their colored bandanas, also referred to as flags, to wipe down their bullets and magazines, as they load their weapons. We know there were several gang members in the area, and we know that Marquez Smart was not in a gang.