WICHITA, Kansas – The Wichita police officers involved in the officer-involved shooting on Saturday are suspended with pay pending the investigation.
The officers used a taser, but the taser didn’t take, and they shot the man as he reached for what they felt could have been a weapon.
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“Once deployed, the taser has no effect on the suspect, and he takes one step towards officer A. Officer B sees the suspect reach towards his waistband. This is when Officer B fires two shots from her patrol rifle,” said Deputy Police Chief Nelson Mosley on Sunday.
Officers in another jurisdiction, who had nothing to do with the confrontation, says police protocol sounds like it was followed to the letter.
“Understand that tasers are not 100-percent accurate all the time. They have a good accuracy. But, not all the time,” said T. Walton, Harvey County Sheriff.
Walton says a taser is a great idea and tasers likely save lives, but it just doesn’t always work and police protocol for Wichita shows that officers on the scene followed protocol.
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First, officers say they offered verbal command. That didn’t work with the suspect.
Second, Wichita police protocol on discharging firearms, and the use of lethal force shows, “when practical, a verbal warning for the suspect to submit to the member shall be given prior to the use of lethal force in any situation unless doing so would increase the danger to the member or others.”
After that, the protocol says use of lethal force is authorized.
Walton says police protocol for deadly force is in place for a reason.
“But officers have to think of their own safety, too. They have to think, am I going to get home, am I going to see my children? Am I going to survive this? They have to think about those things, also.”