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Some local leaders call for independent investigation into Cedric Lofton case

Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 7:28 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Could the case surrounding Cedric Lofton’s death head to the Department of Justice next? That’s the question after some Sedgwick County leaders officially call for an independent investigation, or a DOJ review.

Lofton, 17, died in September while in custody and even after the Sedgwick County district attorney reviewed the case, some continue fighting to keep it open, including family and even some county leaders.

After Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett announced no charges in Lofton’s death, the main question from Sedgwick County Commissioner Lacey Cruse is whether it’s fair for the county to essentially investigate its own employees.

“My personal opinion is you can’t investigate yourself,” Cruse said. “I think it’s important to be open to what your flaws are, and having a neutral review of this, somebody with really no skin our our local game, but could come in as an objective observe to help us. I don’t think there’s any harm in that, and that’s what I’m calling for.”

Cruse is calling for Lofton’s case to reopen, this time by the Department of Justice.

“As far as DOJ involvement, that’s another animal,” she said. “Looking at the death of [Lofton], I don’t think it’s going to hurt to have another look at this.”

The demand for an independent investigation comes after Sedgwick County and the City of Wichita met to officially create a taskforce to review the case, mental health resources and use-of-force standards. Some leaders believe a taskforce isn’t enough.

Lofton’s case has received national attention over the last several months, but for now, the DOJ hasn’t officially reviewed the case.

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