FF12: Experts discuss officer's use of force in 'swatting' video

Published: Jan. 11, 2018 at 6:55 PM CST
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A few seconds caught on video raise countless questions after a prank, "swatting" call in Wichita led to a man's death.

Among the questions is why an officer shot Andrew Finch and the timing in which it happened and whether the shooting was justified.

Based on the approximate eight seconds of body cam video released by Wichita police, Eyewitness News asked several experts around the country if they could answer those questions.

Their perspectives didn't necessarily align.

Dr. Delores Jones-Brown is a former prosecutor and professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

"It appears that all the police officers had taken cover and there are no civilians on the street," she says. "So there would not have been a necessity to fire his weapon at the time that he fired."

Jeff Noble, a former Irvine, Calif. police officer now works as a police practices consultant and expert witness in cases involving police use of force.

"Any time you're reviewing a case with a video, you have to understand that the video, first of all, is a very small component of the overall investigation," he says.

Noble says the video gives some sense of what led up to the shooting but based on the video alone, there is no way to draw a conclusion.

Dr. Maki Haberfelt, a professor of political science, agrees the video alone does not determine whether the shooting was justified, but she says it does indicate a lack of training.

"Situations of that nature require more attention to officers' emotional intelligence, the way he or she controls their emotions when they are faced with active shooter situations," Maki says. "So it's not just the tactical training."

We don't know how many officers were on scene in the moment that Andrew Finch was shot, but we do know the body cam video did not come from the officer who fired the shot.

"It really raises a lot of questions about why that force had to be used in that moment, but questions that can't be answered yet," Noble says.

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