City of Wichita approves $5M settlement in shooting death of Andrew Finch

Andrew Finch was shot by the police after a swatting call to his home. He was 28-year-old and...
Andrew Finch was shot by the police after a swatting call to his home. He was 28-year-old and from Wichita, Kansas. | Photo Undated(KNOE)
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 12:40 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The City of Wichita at its meeting Tuesday approved a $5 million settlement in connection with the December 2017 deadly officer-involved shooting of Andrew Finch at his Wichita home. The circumstances leading up to the deadly shooting by a Wichita Police Department Officer began with a fake emergency, or “swatting” call.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett ultimately determined charges won’t be filed against the officer who shot Finch. The $5 million settlement the city council approved Tuesday will go to Finch’s estate, meaning his children, an attorney representing the family explained. The council’s vote was 6-1.

In voting to approve the settlement, councilmember Bryan Frye said it’s time for the city to move on.

“It’s been horrible for this community, tragic for the Finch family. Without a doubt this should have never happened,” Frye said.

As a father of two, he said he can’t imagine the pain the family has been through. He also expressed sympathy for the Wichita Police Department, responding to what a hoax caller led officers to believe was an emergency call involving murder and hostages. He pointed out the district attorney’s ruling after reviewing every detail of the case and said he accepts the decision not to charge the officer.

“This settlement won’t bring back Andrew and won’t heal the family entirely,” Frye said.

He said the only hopes is that the settlement can bring some comfort to the family.

“It’s time to heal and to put this past us,” Frye said.

Finch Family Attorney Andrew M. Stroth said the family is happy the city settled.

“It’s bittersweet because on one hand, they’re happy there was finally a resolution and some closure on this case that’s been going on over five years,” he said.

Wichita City Councilmember Brandon Johnson said he was glad to see a resolution.

“I’m just glad that we were able to get to today,” he said. “It’s a long road and none of this brings [Finch] back, but I hope that is helps the family moving forward.

Stroth said the settlement is the largest his firm has seen in officer-involved shootings.

“It’s the city taking responsibility for the tragic actions of its officers,” he said. “It’s a historic outcome because the settlement is the highest settlement, I believe, in the City of Wichita for a police shooting case. IT’s one of the largest settlements in the history of Kansas.”

“Of the $5 million, two-thirds of it will go to the Finch’s family estate, for Andrew Finch’s children. The rest is for attorney fees. The city is paying for this in part from rainy-day reserve funds and insurance funds.