DA studies justification for 2012 police shooting

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Two years after Wichita police shot and killed two men in separate incidents the Sedgwick County district attorney has yet to rule on whether the shootings were justified.

Troy Lanning Jr. and Timothy Collins were shot to death two weeks apart in April 2012. Police say they both were involved in crimes when they were shot.

Determinations on the use of force in other officer-involved shootings — more than a half dozen in the last four years — routinely take several months, The Wichita Eagle reported.

Lanning, 24, was shot April 1, 2012, after he ran from a stolen vehicle to end a car chase from an area where a drive-by shooting had been reported. Police said the officer running after him in south Wichita reported that Lanning put his hand in a bag and aimed it toward the officer in a threatening manner.

Collins, 17, was shot to death on April 13 as he ran from a house where a robbery was occurring. Sedgwick County prosecutors have said Collins was with a group of four men who forced their way into a home and held seven people at gunpoint during the robbery. Three of the intruders fled the house when police converged on the house.

Georgia Cole, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, said District Attorney Marc Bennett is waiting for “finalization” of a piece of information before he issues a ruling on Lanning’s death. Bennett said in an e-mail to the Eagle that he is prevented from making any statement in Collins’ case because criminal charges have been filed against three other suspects.

Any comment would violate the rules of professional conduct because it would have “a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing a pending matter,” he said.

He said information will be released to the public during the trials and hearings.

On July 4, Icarus Randolph was fatally shot after police said he ran with a knife toward an officer responding to a call about a suicidal individual.

His sister, Ida Allen, said she’s not concerned with the wait for a ruling on whether the shooting was justified. She said her frustration is with the process, which she called “rubber-stamping.”

The fact that every police shooting has been deemed justified by the district attorney’s office in recent years is “corruption in itself,” she said.



Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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