Since November 6, 2010, the Wichita Police Department has killed ten people, only one of which was clearly justifiable. The Sedgwick County District Attorney’s office is charged with making the final determination on officer-involved shootings in Wichita, and, until last month, had ruled in favor of the officer in every single police shooting in Wichita’s history.
Icarus Randolph, an Iraq War veteran, was gunned down by Wichita police officer Ryan Snyder in front of his family on Independence Day (2014), after family members called for help from mental health professionals, stemming from Randolph’s PTSD.
David Zehring was killed by Wichita police officers on April 10, 2014. The District Attorney released a video as evidence that the shooting was necessary, but the video doesn’t really show much of anything.
Karen Jackson, a 45 year-old grandmother, was killed by Wichita police officers on July 10, 2012. Jackson was the fifth person killed by Wichita police in one year, which prompted a series of protests that continue to this day. Jackson was accused of lunging at officers with a knife, but Jackson was disabled and used a wheelchair much of the time, due to bad hips.
Timothy Collins Jr., 17, was killed by Wichita police officers April 13, 2012, fleeing a robbery that he ended up in after accepting a ride from an older friend. Collins was unarmed.
Troy Lanning II was killed April 1, 2012, by former Wichita police officer Randy Williamson, while running from a stolen car. Lanning was unarmed and shot in the back. Williamson was involved in 2 separate shootings, the last of which he admits and plead guilty (Alford plea) to fabricating the events of. Williams was sentenced to probation for lying about the last shooting, but not charged for Lanning’s death. This is the only case that the District Attorney has refused to justify, but says there is not enough evidence to take Williamson to trial.
Marquez Smart was killed by Wichita police officers on March 10, 2012, after officers claim he opened fire on a crowd of people leaving a club. There is no physical evidence tying Smart to the gun recovered at the scene, and witnesses claim Smart was not the shooter. Those witnesses’ statements were not included in the DA’s report.
Police shootings in Wichita are surrounded by a veil of secrecy. Unlike most law enforcement agencies, the Wichita Police Department never reveals the names of officers who shoot people. The names we do have were uncovered by reporters, Kansas Exposed, lawsuits, or, in case of Icarus Randolph, witness reports, considering he was shot down in front of his entire family.
The public is not permitted to view the evidence, and no grand jury has convened over any of the above mentioned cases.