It has now been two years and one day since former Wichita Police officer Randy Williamson shot Troy Lanning II, who was unarmed and running away, in the back. Lanning died of his wounds. Williamson has been placed on “medical retirement” after confessing to making false statements in a separate shooting he was involved in.
The Sedgwick County District Attorney has still not released a ruling in this case. We are still paying Williamson full retirement benefits despite the fact he confessed to a crime and shot an unarmed man in the back. The Lanning family has been offered no explanation by either the Wichita Police Department, nor the Sedgwick County DA’s office.
Increasing numbers of American citizens are being killed by police officers, and very rarely are these officers brought to account for unjustified shootings. Police officers in America are killing civilians at a far higher rate than civilians kill police officers. In 2013 alone, police officers killed 309 people. In 2012, that number was 587.
Conversely, in 2013, 130 police officers died in the line of duty. However, only 30 were shot by criminals, and only 2 died of stab wounds. 5 died from vehicular assault and one was killed by a bomb. The rest were killed in accidents, or died from heart attacks.
So, in reality, criminals killed 36 police officers in 2013, while police officers killed over 300 in that same year. Technically speaking, while the police may claim that their jobs are very dangerous, it is about ten times more dangerous to be in the presence of a police officer than it is to actually be one.
Looking back at Wichita, in a one year period, the WPD shot and killed five individuals, none of whom were armed with a gun (in shooting, the WPD claims Marquez Smart was armed with a gun, but physical evidence refutes this claim). The Sedgwick County DA’s office has ruled four of these five shootings to be justified, but has yet to release a ruling on Lanning’s death.