Protesters planning to demonstrate outside of NCAA Tournament next month

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – You may see protesters outside one of Wichita’s largest sporting events next month.

This comes as they continue to demand answers revolving around a deadly officer-involved shooting and swatting incident in December.

28-year-old Andrew Finch was unarmed when he was shot and killed outside of a south Wichita home.

Protesters and activists have shown up to city council meetings every week since the incident.

They’ve been asking for the name of the officer to be released and for more police transparency.

Things got heated at Tuesday’s city council meeting, culminating with activist William Stofer being asked to leave.

“We will be back, we will occupy the tournament,” said Stofer.

It is a statement that Stofer backed up on Wednesday.

By protesting during the tournament, Stofer hopes those who’ve been going to the meetings week after week, will finally be heard.

“Ever since the shooting, we felt that we have not been able to get any real answers from the city, we want to eliminate all obstacles to transparency so things like this don’t happen again,” said Stofer.

At the very least, Stofer is hopeful it will allow them to be a part of the discussion.

“What we are hoping to get out of this, at least what we talked about at city council yesterday, was bring us to the round table so that you can hear where we are coming from,” said Stofer.

Wichita Vice-Mayor Bryan Frye says it is a discussion he is open to having.

“I wish they would call me and let’s discuss, because they haven’t and I welcome that opportunity,” said Frye.

As for protesting during the NCAA Tournament, Frye says that activists have the right to do, as long as it is peaceful.

“It’s not unusual, is it unfortunate? Yes, but I also, at the same time, hope we can get these answers accomplished before we get to that event,” said Frye.

If people do plan to protest during the tourney, Frye says there will be adequate security in place to keep the peace.


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