Police who killed innocent man during Call of Duty swatting incident won’t be charged

At the tail end of 2017, a Call of Duty swatting incident in Kansas took the life of a completely innocent man after police killed him following a fake tip to the wrong address.

As we’ve previously chronicled, California resident Tyler Barriss reportedly called Wichita police to detail a supposed murder/hostage/arson in progress, using the address of what he apparently believed was one Call of Duty player intended as the focus of the ensuing police harassment, as provided by another player and played out live on Twitter. The address used, however, was apparently for a completely unrelated person, father of two Andrew Finch, who was subsequently shot and killed by police after opening his door. Barriss was charged with involuntary manslaughter and extradited to Kansas, having tweeted an admission of guilt and being suspected of multiple other incidents, including a bomb threat.

Sitting in prison isn’t turning Barriss into a model citizen, you’ll be unsurprised to learn. As the Wichita Eagle reports (and Slashdot conveniently sums up), Barriss managed to snag internet access last week and tweeted out brand-new threats, which probably will not help him if and when he is convicted of this and the other pending criminal complaints.

As for the other actors in the lie that caused an innocent man’s death? Apparently, the two Call of Duty players – including the one who supposedly asked for the other to be swatted and delivered the fake address – will not be charged. Neither will be the police officer who shot Finch; apparently, the district attorney determined that multiple officers thought Finch was reaching for a gun, thereby justifying the shots fired, which you’ll note doesn’t quite comport with the original reporting. Finch’s family’s civil suit is proceeding as planned.

Catch up on the whole story:

Source: Wichita Eagle, Kansas.comSlashdot, ArsTechnica. Thanks, Sally.
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Rolan Storm

Unimaginable, yet…

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draugris

So no justice for the family, what a tragedy. Every time i read something like this i am so happy living in a country where the police is more civilized and less trigger happy.

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Jeff

This is what I always found amazing that anyone would actually give two figs where someone decides to move…..I have lived and worked all over the work from Karachi to Osaka, and I travel extensively today, people who actually do leave the country have zero impact on the culture they leave or the culture they go to….Celebrities are especially fond of making this threat as if someone who can memorize a few lines can actually impact American culture by threatening to move, it’s just so indicative of the all outrage yet no workable solutions generation.

But if you do insist on leaving I highly recommend Marbella spain, or Wellington New Zeland. Both cities are happy civilized and relatively safe, but then again so are most small towns in North Western Oklahoma.

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draugris

Well i don´t know what you want to tell me. I am living in Munich,Germany which is a pretty safe place for the most part, at least safer than most countries and for sure more safe than the US. So i am not going anywhere ^^

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Kickstarter Donor
mysecretid

This tragedy puts me in mind of a segment in comedian Chris Rock’s latest stand-up special “Tamborine”.

After insisting that he appreciates how difficult it must be to work as a police officer, Rock goes on to say, “but there are just some jobs out there where everybody has to be good”.

Rock goes on to riff about commercial airline pilots as another example, claiming that airlines don’t routinely advertise that “MOST of our pilots like to land”.

His point being that there are some high-pressure, high-performance jobs out there (and I’m sure you can all think of your own examples beyond active-duty police officer) where those in the career simply have to succeed to a certain level every time, or they don’t get to do the job any more. It’s a pass/fail kind of career.

It’s one of those careers where you have to get it right, every single time, or you need to go do something else.

My opinion, anyway,

Aelzen
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Aelzen

And it’s like that in most of the civilized world. The problem is, however, that police unions in the US are too strong. They’re specifically set up to keep those poor performers in a job where their fuckups get people killed.

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Brown Jenkin

America.

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Jeff

Just got back from visiting London, Berlin and Rome….not any better and in some cases (especially London and Berlin) much worse. The entire world is a shitshow, (and no all of it isn’t America’s fault) and what amazes me is the sheer ignorance most so called Americans have in realizing that.

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Kickstarter Donor
zeko_rena

Why don’t they just use a fucking taser

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Randy Savage

Because tasers do not immediately subdue a suspect. They can still discharge their weapon if they have one. Non-lethal force has to be instant in order for it to be effective.

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Utakata

Tasers are far from perfect and can be in fact lethal. But they are likely a better alternative to something that is deliberately lethal. As there’s more likely the chance the officer can say, “Oop’s, I’m sorry!” after a Taser discharge than with a gun.

…personally I am for de-escalation myself.

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Sally Bowls

FWIW. it is 2018.

you can listen to the 911 call and watch the shooting from an officer’s bodycam.
http://www.kansas.com/news/local/crime/article192244734.html

as well as

Neighbor films scene from across the street immediately after ‘swat’ shooting
http://www.kansas.com/news/local/crime/article192303809.html

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Castagere Shaikura

Yeah no surprise cops getting away with killing someone.

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Bruno Brito

The good news: The main cause of this shit is burying himself deep.

The bad news: As always, police enforcement has clearance to murder and not be held accountable.

Yay.

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Peregrine Falcon

Before this surrendering to the police was always the smart decision. Now…

Siphaed
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Siphaed

“…..apparently, the district attorney determined that multiple officers thought Finch was reaching for a gun, thereby justifying the shots fired, which you’ll note doesn’t quite comport with the original reporting. “

NO IT F*******ING DOESN’T!!!! He had his hands down, so freakin’ what. Unless they actually physically SEE a weapon, a cop’s fear that he MAY have a weapon and was reaching for the imaginary thing is not justification for shooting him dead.

They’re trained to CONTROL their fear. To have bearings on the situation and keep everyone calm. How am I supposed to react when a Police Officer tells me “remain calm”, sitting here thinking that the person behind the badge -behind the special training- is going to shoot me if I even TOUCH my pockets out of their inability to remain calm and excessive fear that I may have a gun that I don’t have. That is insane. That’s literally the definition of insanity.

INSANITY: extreme foolishness or irrationality.

The cop: Insane.

The DA: Insane.

The State Attorney’s Office (which can override and drive charges): Insane.

The Governor: Insane.

Everyone is insane. A person is dead out of irrational fear begetting a Police Officer who is supposed to be trained to not overact in a situation.

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Matt Redding

Frankly I think what happened is one cop was trigger happy and now because of the sense of brotherhood the cops have, others are lying for him in solidarity. This is the problem with police: they won’t allow themselves to be criticized or judged when they do wrong; it becomes an “us vs them” situation. And that’s why so many cops are actually, in my opinion, unfit for duty. I’m sure many are very good; I’m not saying all cops are bad. But LYING about a situation like this IS bad.

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Bruno Brito

The problem isn’t the individual cop anymore, it’s the entire force.

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Sally Bowls

It sure seems like one cop was trigger happy. But where in the world does lying come in?

Officers gave him several verbal commands to put his hands up and walk towards them. The male complied for a very short time and then put his hands back down to his waist. The officers continued to give him verbal commands to put his hands up, and he lowered them again. The male then turned towards the officers on the east side of the residence, lowered his hands to the waistband again, then suddenly pulled them back up towards those officers at the east.

If the officer who fired had a legitimate/reasonable (I don’t know the legal standard) belief the others officers were in danger, then he can fire. If not. he can’t. What would other officers’ be lying about? Especially since the incident was filmed? (see above)

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Robert Mann

There’s that, and then there’s the court system protection (where even if something is obviously wrong the courts refuse to indict a police officer.) Which also needs work.

I’m very much a person who expects a reasonable standard, and notes that officers need the ability to fire when things are going wrong. The blame isn’t 100% on officers there either (over 25% of officer shootings are people who legitimately look or act like they may be pulling a weapon, which is entirely preventable on our end.)

Anyway, long and short is that we need to fix many things, and this goes into the whole political/government class vs. citizenry thing, where the first is not held to the same standard. That should be cause for action by the entire citizenry, and it should have been dealt with many times over at this point. :(

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Sally Bowls

I disagree with “excessive fear.” Here is what the police were told.

At 6:18 p.m., an officer working at City Hall received a call from an unknown man who said there was a disturbance with his father. When dispatchers spoke with the caller, he said he got into an argument with his mother and shot his father.

“They were arguing and I shot him in the head, and he’s not breathing anymore,” the caller said.

Asked if he had any weapons on him, the caller said, “Yeah I do.”

He then said he was standing by his mother’s closet holding a black handgun.

“I’m just pointing the gun at them, making sure they stay in the closet,” the caller said.

When the dispatcher asked if he could put the gun down, he said no. He then made further threats.

“I already poured gasoline all over the house, I might just set it on fire,” he told the dispatcher. “Do you have my address correct?”

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Bruno Brito

Imminent danger or no, the situation coulda been handled better.

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Robert Mann

Which should have been re-assessed the moment they arrived and didn’t smell gasoline fumes.

There were mistakes made, and there is room for improvement all around (both with how police interact with people in circumstances that are suspect, and with how people interact with police.) Sadly, it tends to turn into arguments about how one side or the other is wrong, without consideration that there’s room for improvements across the board.

That said, I would caution against the statement Siphaed made, about the police needing to see a weapon. When that standard is applied in simulation, with a shot being fired, the person who is waiting to see the weapon is dead. 100 times out of 100, assuming an accurate shot by the person wanting to fire and protective gear not managing to stop it (if worn, as would likely have been with this case.) Simply put, nobody has that quick of a reaction time. At which point you may as well kiss the idea of police goodbye, because almost nobody will subject themselves to such a standard where the very people they are meant to counter are given every advantage… there are simply easier methods of suicide. We need to fix law and order, not demolish it completely.

exilio
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exilio

You: Insane. And ignorant. You have an opinion and viewpoint which you’re entitled to. However, you are ignorant of the facts, procedures, training, and probably of human nature in general.

All humans have emotions. All police are humans. Therefore all police have emotions. Accordingly, fear is one of those emotions. We cannot, with grainy, 2-D video, shot at night, without being there, with that officer’s training, experience, and mindset, truly know what emotions he, and others, experienced at the time.

Once again, you represent the knee-jerk American public that know not of which they speak, but render a full and expert opinion and condemnation all in one fell swoop.

What happened was a tragedy. And all of those officers and that victims family will feel it for the rest of their lives. Your anger and condemnation is misplaced. You should look at yourself and at the individual that set all those horrible events into motion.

Siphaed
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Siphaed

I should look at myself to blame? Um…okay, what a weird thing to post.

Yes I do know that the SWATTER was at fault to an extent. He practically loaded the gun; his actions similar -though worse than that- of yelling “FIRE!” in a packed theater as a prank.

But the trained Officer pulled the trigger. At the end of the day, it was an unarmed citizen who answered the door and a trained “Protect and Serve” Officer who answered it with bullets to said citizen. Not a criminal. The only crime is answering the door, which I’m 100% sure isn’t a crime at all.

If I’m suspected of armed robbery because they describe the robber as having “blue hair”, and I have blue hair, should the Officers approaching me shoot me if I move funny in the slightest? Because of their “human emotions”, as you so put it, and their internal fear that the person with blue hair is an armed robber. Me, a citizen who’s got headphones in, not understanding what the Officers are screaming or why they’re there. Does that seem right?

What ever happened to tasers?

What ever happened to rubber bullets?

How about batons?

Good old fashioned NON-LETHAL approaches to a situation instead of a shoot-first-ask-questions-later that happens a lot.

Flash bang? LED-based strobe blinders (they’re like a newer, cheaper flash bang).

The fact that a supposedly trained officer answered a call about someone who had supposedly poured gasoline all over the building and will set it on fire. That Officer’s first thought to reacting to an unarmed individual at the door is discharging a combustible firearm round is just idiotic. The person in charge who set up this tactical barrage on the neighborhood should have -at details of the call- instructed all Officers to not discharge their firearms at risk of setting the house ablaze.

Why not ambush the guy at the door? He answers, the Officers around the door, they grab his wrist, jerk it back, and tackle him to the ground. Scrapes; possible concussion. NO DEATH. Non-lethal take down. These are things Judo (sic) classes teach women afraid of purse snatchers in the public. If there were as many Officers as they say there were, this should have been cake considering the risk was singular suspect.