DA releases copy of body cam video in shooting by officer that injured girl

Published: Jun. 21, 2018 at 9:50 PM CDT
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The attorney representing former Wichita Police Officer Dexter Betts released a statement Friday afternoon.

The statement comes a day after the Sedgwick County District Attorney's Office released body cam video from the day Betts is accused of shooting at a dog inside a home. The dog was not hit. A nine-year-old girl who was sitting next to the dog was struck by bullet fragments.

"Officer Betts responded to a 911 call that was highly volatile and presented a real danger for the responding officers’ safety. The 911 caller advised that a firearm had been used in violence in the caller’s house. Officer Betts’ supervisor directed Betts to enter the house and locate that firearm. The dog – highly agitated by having been abused and choked by a resident of the house – bared its teeth, barked viciously, and lunged at Officer Betts. Acting in full compliance with the Wichita Police Department’s Policy Manual, Officer Betts did exactly what he was trained to do. The entire situation is unfortunate, but it is still a case of self‐defense. Officer Betts is innocent of the offense charged. We implore prospective jurors to reserve judgment until they have seen all of the evidence and considered the totality of the circumstances. There is much more to the story than the emotionally inflammatory moments depicted on the recently released video."

Betts was fired from the Wichita Police Department. He's charged with aggravated battery, a level 8 felony. Prosecutors say Betts acted unlawfully and recklessly causing bodily harm to the child.

A trial date could likely be picked on August 20th.

The attorney for the girl's family is Charley O'Hara. He says the family always wanted the video to be released.

"The family has really wanted everyone to see it and realize... and hopefully take measures so it doesn't happen again," said O'Hara.

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Thursday, June 21

The Sedgwick County District Attorney released a copy of the body cam footage showing the moments a now former Wichita police officer fired a shot at a family dog that injured a nine-year-old girl.

Police said Officer Dexter Betts was responding to a domestic dispute and suicidal call in the 1500 block North Gentry on December 30, 2017, when he fired two shots at a dog he believed was charging at him.

Betts missed the dog, but a bullet fragment ricocheted and struck the girl in the forehead, just above her right eye. She was treated at a local hospital and released.

The Wichita Police Department fired Betts on Jan. 25.

The former officer is charged with aggravated battery, a level 8 felony. Prosecutors say Betts acted unlawfully and recklessly causing bodily harm to the child.

Betts entered a not guilty plea in the case. His trial is set for Aug. 20.