Suhani Bhatka and another girl were crossing Broadway near Harry, when a Wichita police officer's car hit her nearly a year ago. They were not using a crosswalk. Officials say the officer's view might have been blocked by an SUV. And he was responding to a burglary call.
Mike Schatz, Occupy Wichita spokesman, said a Kansas Highway Patrol report found the officer was speeding.
"Possibly going as fast as 51 in a 30 mile per hour zone," Schatz said. "And, did not have any lights or sirens on to show that he was moving faster than what he should have been.""I was also hindered in my investigation due to a lack of statement from the driver of the Ford,” Schatz read from the report.
The driver of the Ford who refused to give a statement, is the officer involved. Eyewitness News sat down with former Sedgwick County Sheriff Bob Hinshaw. He is not connected to this case. We wanted to know if he thought some of the issues Occupy Wichita had with the report were unusual, including the fact the officer did not give a statement that night.
"Even though we are talking about a law enforcement officer, they are still protected under the constitution and have all their rights the same as you or I would in any investigation,” Hinshaw said.
Hinshaw said anyone can refuse to talk to law enforcement. Occupy Wichita was also concerned about another section of the report. It reads... "There were no evaluations made of Driver #1. The toxicology results of the Pedestrian were negative of any controlled substances or alcohol.”
"So in other words, they drug-tested the 12-year-old little girl who was bringing groceries to her family, but not the police officer who was driving the car that hit her,” Schatz said.
But Hinshaw says testing for a controlled substance isn't required in deadly accidents.
"Typically, you're going to need reasonable suspicion or probable cause or something to indicate the person may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol," Hinshaw said. "And, then that would become part of the investigation itself."
This won't likely be the last we hear about this case. Suhani's family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the officer and the city.
The KHP report said the primary cause of the accident was the fact the girls did not use the crosswalk. It says a contributing factor is the possibility that the officer was travelling too fast.
Occupy Wichita did not tell us how it got the report. The Wichita Police Department declined to comment on this story because of ongoing ligation with the girl's family.