Police State/Civil Liberties

A Cop Killed an Innocent Man After a ‘Swatting’ Prank Call. The City Can’t Be Sued.

By Billy Binion, Reason

On a chilly December evening in 2017, a group of Wichita cops surrounded a modest house on West McCormick Street. They were there in response to what was purportedly a gruesome hostage situation: a father shot dead, a mother in danger, and a son threatening to burn everything down.

When Andrew Finch opened the door to his home, a sniper rifle killed him within seconds. Thirty minutes passed before anyone rendered emergency aid. Cops handcuffed his mother, sister, niece, and two friends outside in 24 degree weather for over an hour. But Finch was not the son the police were after, nor were he and his family involved in any crisis.

That’s because there was no crisis. Around 5:00 p.m. that day, in a prank known as “swatting,” a California caller had dialed the Wichita Police Department (WPD) and reported a work of fiction, doling out the address and setting the chaos in motion.

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