Finch family sues city of Wichita, expected to make announcement Tuesday

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The family of the Wichita man who was shot and killed by police after a fake 911 call is suing the city of Wichita and the officers involved.

DOCUMENT | Finch Lawsuit

The lawsuit was just filed in district court Monday. There are several allegations in the 21 page lawsuit.

But, it does not reveal the amount of money Andrew Finch’s family is seeking from the city.

It also does not name the officer who shot Finch. It does, however, claim that the culture within the Wichita Police Department contributed to Finch’s death.

Finch’s family is suing the city and 10 members of the police department for five counts. That includes one count for excessive force, and three counts for unconstitutional seizure.

Under the claim for excessive force, the family’s attorney claims “the actions of the defendant officers alleged in this complaint which resulted in the shooting of Andrew Finch without just cause violated Andrew Finch’s rights under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

The lawsuit also alleges a pattern of concealing misconduct in the police department, saying “the city refuses to release the names of the officers involved in citing privacy rights of the officer.”

It continues to read: “this pattern of practice of concealing misconduct and concealing the identities of officers involved in misconduct encourages officers to believe that unconstitutional behavior will be protected and that they will suffer no discipline.”

Finally, the lawsuit claims that the city’s policy of not releasing information on the officers involved in a shooting creates a “veil of secrecy.”

KSN reached out to Wichita city officials, the Wichita Police Department, and Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell.  The city sent us the following statement:

“The Dec. 28 WPD swatting incident has been investigated by the Wichita Police Department in conjunction with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. That investigation is currently under review by the Sedgwick County District Attorney. The Department will also conduct a thorough internal review of the incident. Further questions should be directed to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office.

City of Wichita and WPD officials have great sympathy for those impacted by the reckless behavior exemplified by “swatting” which created the circumstances which resulted in this death.

The City learned that a lawsuit has been filed less than one month after this incident. After the City is served with the lawsuit, it will be reviewed and an appropriate response filed.”

– City Attorney Jennifer Magana

The Finch family’s attorney, Andrew M. Stroth, talked about the lawsuit Tuesday at City Hall. Watch the video below.

Stroth is a Civil Rights Attorney from Chicago works for a law firm that specializes in representing families suffering from police shootings. He is in Wichita and will be at the media conference on Tuesday. Stroth says this case is unlike any he has seen.

“I will tell you, based on my experience and the several dozens of families we represent, this is one of the most egregious cases because it took place in the sanctity of his home,” Stroth explains.


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