The officer who gunned down and killed a man after being called to his home by a prankster will not face criminal charges. Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office in Wichita, Kansas, made the announcement Thursday, acknowledging that the incident should not have happened.
DA Marc Bennett underlined that the cop who fatally shot Andrew Finch had wrongly believed that the 28-year-old man was armed and involved in a deadly hostage situation, as the prankster had told the 911 dispatcher.
However, everything that the police officer believed was proven to be a so-called “swatting prank.” The man behind the prank Tyler Raj Barriss, 25, had called 911 to trick the police into thinking that somebody at Finch’s address had killed a man and was holding his sister and mother hostage while threatening to burn down the house.
Prankster Was Angry for Losing at COD Game
Police later found that Barriss called 911 because he sought revenge on a Call of Duty rival he wrongly believed that was living at Finch’s address. The man made the call from California.
The police officer that killed Finch said he thought that the victim was carrying a gun and about to use it. He insisted that he shot dead Finch after wrongly believing that the victim had a gun in his hand.
In reality, the swatting prank victim was unarmed. Other police officers present at the scene said they didn’t have the impression that Finch was about to pull out a gun for one second. Several cops said they didn’t open fire because they didn’t see Finch armed.
In Kansas, a police shooting is legal if it had passed a two-pronged test. First, the police officer has to “sincerely and honestly” believe that he has to take the suspect down to defend himself. Second, the officer must prove that any other person in the same situation would have considered the use of deadly force a “reasonable” option.
Image Source: Defense.gov
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