Wichita Police Respond To Request For Shooting Incident Details With A Handful Of Fully-Redacted Pages

from the literally-nothing-to-see-here,-move-along dept

So much for the power of open records requests. Sure, you get some scratch paper out of the deal, but otherwise, there’s nothing “open” about this shooting report delivered in response to the Wichita Eagle’s request. (h/t to Techdirt reader Brig C. McCoy, via KansasExposed.org)

The city of Wichita has released a heavily redacted public incident report from the Jan. 3 police shooting of John Quintero.

About four and a half pages of the five-page report are redacted. The reports typically detail what happened in an incident and include information from witnesses and officers involved.

Pretty much the entirety of the released report [pdf link] looks like this:

(If you can’t see the embed, don’t sweat it. Literally nothing to see but black ink, although you are missing the unintentionally ironic title of “Public Incident Report.”)

The only information actually revealed is a short description of the incident.

Report Date: 01/032015 I8158 Start Date: 01/03/2015 18:58

EndDate: 18:58


Everything else, including officers’ statements and those from the three witnesses have been redacted. What was released was common knowledge, as the Wichita Eagle had been covering the case since the night it happened. Officers responded to a call reporting a “disturbance involving a knife.” 23-year-old John Quintero was shot by officers after he became “belligerent” and “reached for his waistband.” No weapon was found on Quintero.

Now, there may be a good reason this was all redacted. Or if not a good reason, than at least the usual reason police departments withhold information: the case is still under investigation. But the Wichita PD hasn’t offered any comment on its decision to redact nearly everything in this report. One wonders why it even bothered releasing it at all. It’s one thing to be transparent. It’s quite another to make meaningless gestures like this in the letter of open records laws, while avoiding the spirit of them entirely.

And it may not actually still be under investigation. The only other interesting item left unredacted follows the truncated incident report. Under the heading “Add’l info” it says the following:

1 – 0130 JUSTIFIABLE HOMICIDE – – Original Report

What it looks like (and, of course, one can only infer so much from this extremely limited “data set”) is that the officer involved has either been cleared or is well on her way to being cleared at this point — 10 days after the shooting occurred.

The Wichita Police have offered no statement one way or the other on its justifiable homicide report, but its silence, along with its secrecy, indicates it would rather have this blow over quickly than deal with the consequences of a questionable shooting. Of course, it’s far from the only law enforcement agency to “mistake” multiple pages of opaque black ink for “transparency.” If you’re doing nothing wrong, you’ve got nothing to hide, right?

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Comments on “Wichita Police Respond To Request For Shooting Incident Details With A Handful Of Fully-Redacted Pages”

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Anonymous Coward says:

This homicide was justifiable because █████████████████████████████████ █████████████████████████████████ █████████████████████████████████ █████████████████████████████████ █████████████████████████████████ █████████████████████████████████ █████████████████████████████████

█████████████████████████████████ █████████████████████████████████ █████████████████████████████████ █████████████████████████████████ █████████████████████████████████ █████████████████████████████████ █████████████████████████████████ █████████████████████████████████ █████████████████████████████████ █████████████████████████████████ █████████████████████████████████ █████████████████████████████████ █████████████████████████████████

█████████████████████████████████ █████████████████████████████████ █████████████████████████████████
█████████████████████████████████ █████████████████████████████████ █████████████████████████████████ This should dispel any possible doubts you might have had regarding the officers’ conduct.

Binko Barnes (profile) says:

We should all be very frightened to think that “reaching for your waistband” is justifiable grounds for summary execution.

When you get stopped by a cop you’d better hope that your hands never move downward since any such movement could be described as “reaching for your waistband” and subject you to execution.

At this point it’s clear that we need a major revamp of our so-called Justice System as it pertains to the police. Start with common sense changes such that shooting a citizen who does not even possess a weapon is a criminal act no matter what the cop was thinking or what fearful state he was in.

cbpelto (profile) says:

Re: Re: RE: Lawful Use of Deadly Force

I’ve been through three doses of that: (1) as a young paratrooper deployed with my 82d brigade to provide MACA support to the DCPD during the May Day Riots of ’71, (2) as an armed security guard and (3) for my CCW permit.

And in NONE of them was I ever told I could shoot somebody who was NOT an imminent threat to human life, e.g., and pointing a firearm at someone else.

If the man didn’t have a weapon in his hands at the time he was shot, this is outright murder

cbpelto (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 RE: Lawful Use of Deadly Force

RE: It’s Called ‘Qualified Immunity’

It’s afforded LEOs. I gives them the right to kill anyone they can claim caused them to ‘fear for their life’. Whether their victim is armed or not.

Here’s a list of some of their victims…..

• Jonathan Ferrell — Charlotte NC, running to the police after surviving an auto accident….gets gunned down.

• John Winkler — LA, gunned down running towards a sheriff’s deputy as he was fleeing the man who had held him hostage with a knife.

• Michael Davidson — USAF, gunned down by a state trooper as he was walking towards him after a traffic accident he was involved in.

• Alfred Redwing — Albuquerque, NM, unarmed and shot on the front porch of his home after he’d been SWAT’d and was dumb enough to come out into the direct line of fire as the police had demanded.

• Eric Scott — Las Vegas, NV, gunned down in the Costco parking lot because he had a concealed carry permit. And the security camera that was watching the incident reportedly ‘malfunctioned’ so that evidence of the shooting was lost.

• Tamir Rice — 12-year old playing in a Cleveland, OH, park with an airsoft pistol. Police shot him dead within 2 seconds of their arrival on the scene.

• Aiyana Stanley-Jones — 7-year old in Detroit. Shot by police while she slept on a couch.

• John Crawford III, 22, was fatally shot by law enforcement inside a Beavercreek, Ohio Walmart on Aug. 5 within minutes of a 911 call from a fellow Walmart shopper. He was carrying a BB gun he considered buying.

• Dillon Taylor — Unarmed. Killed by the Salt Lake City police because he moved his hands when the officer demanded he show his hands. The DA found no reason to charge the officer.

• Jose Guerena — Tucson, AZ. Shot 60 times in a no-knock drug raid that found no drugs. He had the temerity to think the crashing of his door down was a home invasion and was prepared to defend his wife. So they shot him.

• D’Andre Berghardt — Las Vegas, NV, had been walking down the highway trying to hitch a ride when police approached him. His behavior was erratic, and eventually he tried to climb inside a police vehicle — at which point he was shot dead.

• Jerame Reid — Bridgeton, NJ, shot six times by police with his hands empty and up.

And all that the police get is a 2-week paid vacation.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 RE: Lawful Use of Deadly Force

Aiyana Stanley-Jones — 7-year old in Detroit. Shot by police while she slept on a couch.

She was breathing suspiciously for sure.

If it makes you feel better and make a connection with police violence around the world the cops shot 6 tear gas bombs inside a crowded subway station here because reasons. There was a protest nearby and part of the protesters were going home via subway with the rest of the population. The cops arrived shooting.

GEMont (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 RE: Lawful Use of Deadly Force

“The only Man who was perfect got nailed to a tree.”

Nah, that was Simon they nailed to the tree on Pontius’s estate and while Simon was pretty damn cool, he was way less than perfect.

He did volunteer for the role of sacrificial lamb though, for the “cause”.

The heir apparent to the Judean throne walked. The man known as Jesus had a rebellion that needed his attention.

Simon’s sacrifice gave him a new lease on sabotage.

Judas was a good guy, who sold Simon to the Romans, instead of Jesus, so that the leader of the rebellion could carry on the Rebel/Terrorist campaign against the occupying Roman Army.

The Romans had no idea what Jesus looked like – he was the rebellion leader – and they needed someone – a rebel – to point him out to the occupying Roman forces and collect the reward.

But at least (and surprisingly), you got the tree part right. 🙂

Did you learn where they really stuck the nails too?

GEMont (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 RE: Lawful Use of Deadly Force

Ah, a Soldier! Even more importantly, A Sky Pilot!

Sorry, but it just never fails to amaze me how little the religious know of their religion’s actual history.

I always try to educate, but I usually just offend.

Its my curse.

However, I do understand your need to believe in a less realistic and more romantic version of History, so no more uncomfortable realities shall I place before ye then.

PS – Did you ever figure out where they stuck the nails?

cbpelto (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 RE: Lawful Use of Deadly Force

RE: [OT] This Will Be My Last Reply….

….to this off-topic sub-thread.

You atheists are really quite amazing in your denial.

I know for a fact that God (1) exists and (2) cares for me. How so? Because He saved my sorry fourth-point-of-contact on several occasions. Including one night jump with a malfunctioning parachute. As I was about to crash and burn, while trying to straighten out the mass of nylon that refused to open, that still small voice screamed in my ear “PREPARE TO LAND!”

At which point I snapped into the landing posture. A second later I crashed into Mother Earth. But I didn’t ‘burn’. I got up and walked away. But my M16 was a sorry mess. Not one piece of plastic was larger than a square inch and the barrel was bent.

You haven’t lived until you’ve almost died.

[Atheist, n., One praying to God that He doesn’t exist.]

GEMont (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10 RE: Lawful Use of Deadly Force

Off topic indeed. My bad.

But, as I promised, I will lay no more confusing reality before you.

PS – I’ve recovered from drowning twice through someone applying CPR and was once revived by friends after a three story fall. I think God was praying that I did not exist.

By the way, did you ever find out where they stuck the nails? 🙂

Rekrul says:

Re: Re: Re: RE: Lawful Use of Deadly Force

And in NONE of them was I ever told I could shoot somebody who was NOT an imminent threat to human life, e.g., and pointing a firearm at someone else.

Under the new laws, which the courts have codified with their decisions, a cop merely has to think that their life might be in danger in order to execute someone.

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

That report isn’t a meaningless gesture, it’s a giant “Fuck You” to the people who requested it. It’s like leaving a 10¢ tip for your waiter. It’s more insulting than leaving nothing.

Seriously. I could understand a “We can’t release the report, there’s an ongoing investigation” response. This is going above and beyond that. Someone put effort into that.

Anonymous Coward says:

The fact that the policewoman entered the area with an assault rifle in her hands would suggest that she fully intended to use it on anyone who might offer the least bit of trouble. (and it’s not like she could have just put the rifle down to grab her taser or pepper spray) And once a cop points a rifle at someone, she’s left with no alternative but to pull the trigger if the person doesn’t do exactly what he’s told.

BTW, do they now teach trainees at the police academy to always say “he reached for his wasteband” whenever they kill an unarmed person for looking at them the wrong way?

cbpelto (profile) says:

Re: RE: POST Training

I am confident that Peace Officer Standard Training (POST) teaches officers to shoot first and ask questions later.

Started back in the 90s when the FBI abandoned the doctrine of ‘Protection of Life’ regarding the use of deadly force. After that, the mentality trickled down to local law enforcement.

The theory behind it was that if the police became more brutal in their duties, the populace would become more compliant.

You can check this out in a book….

Deadly Force: What We Know — A Practicioner’s Desk Reference on Police
Involved Shootings by Geller and Scott (©1992).

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: RE: POST Training

The theory behind it was that if the police became more brutal in their duties, the populace would become more compliant.

An idea that is true, to a point. However, ratchet the fear up enough, make everyday people honestly fear for their lives any time a cop is around(and with the rate they gun down people, reaching that point is only a matter of time), and that fear is likely to cause people to go on the offensive in order to remove the threat.

That’s basic psychology, fear can keep someone ‘docile’ due to them trying to stay safe from the perceived threat, but if the fear grows too much, the threat too immediate, then survival instinct will all but demand the source of the fear/threat be removed.

If the police continue on as they have, it will reach that point, and it will not be a pleasant sight.

GEMont (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: RE: POST Training

Oddly enough, I think that this is exactly the desired goal.

The Circle goes thus:

By making the consequences for the cops less and less until total immunity from all harmful actions is the outcome, they make cops less careful about their handling of the public.

By making them less careful of their handling of the public, the public begins to fear them and retaliate.

By making the public fearful of the police until they start to retaliate against the perceived threat that is the police force, the police forces begin to perceive the public as a greater and growing threat – an actual menace, or as the feds put it, The Adversary – and escalate the use of brutality, false arrest, stop and frisk, and start wearing more body armor, driving around in armored vehicles, using assault weapons on the public, and generally acting more and more like an occupying army in a foreign land.

Naturally the public will again react by fearing the police more and going underground for the majority of its activities in order to avoid contact with the police altogether. This in turn makes the poor and city bound public appear to be more criminally-active and thus give the papers and TV even greater fodder for even greater stories about the evil feral public poor in their hidden lairs, doing all sorts of evil and pornographic rituals.

As long as the majority of the police action is taken against the poor and homeless, drug dealers and users, the middle class reacts by demanding more police protection from the evil of the poor and drug dealers and terrorists they see each night on TV eating children and raping dogs, chickens and goldfish, thereby justifying the escalation of the militarization of the police further and justifying the use of increased force against the victims of this cycle.

Politicians get to cater to their constituents demands because they too want to justify the police state activities and at the same time look good.

The police get larger budgets and special pay hikes for specialized services and grow in personnel size and shrink in responsibility, and accountability.

They also get to keep what they steal from their victims.

A police state must have absolute immunity for its police forces, since the rulers of a fascist system must constantly use them to perform legalized culling of the parts of the population that represent expenses without returns, to prevent insurrection born of desperation, and to insure the necessary redistribution of wealth from the middle class and poor, that makes yachts, bimbos and cocaine a sure thing for one’s off hours and retirement.

I think that the black guy was right. You cannot undo a fascist regime from within. It has to be destroyed from without.

C’est la vie eh.

cbpelto (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: RE: POST Training

RE: Heh

Even more accurate…..

[1] Think their life is threatened.
[2] Shoot.
[3] AND THEN ‘figure out how they can claim their life was threatened afterwards’.
[4] Afterwards, ask questions to get answers that will justify their shooting.

The officer who, in his report, claimed he felt his life was threatened, while hiding behind a three-layer thick brick wall—the bricks of which were made in 1901 and it would take a .50 cal a bit of ‘chewing’ to make any serious impression—writes that if I had given him half-the-chance he’d a gunned me down.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I wonder how many people actually remember Kent State — that was a bunch of reserves who had never seen combat, and one got trigger happy, which made someone else think they were being fired upon.

The similarities to this current situation are definitely there, albeit there was a large protest on the edge of getting ugly at Kent State, and here there was just a single individual.

Kent State is more a reminder that this stuff’s been going on for decades; it isn’t new. It’s just now it’s a war on terror instead of a war on communism.

cbpelto (profile) says:

Re: Re: RE: Kent State

I guess you missed the report from a couple years ago.

The report was that there is an audio recording made by a student observing Kent State protest from a building near the scene.

In the recording there is the sound of what seems to be four gunshots. There’s a short pause and then you hear the Ohio National Guard open up.

cbpelto (profile) says:

Obstruction of Justice — Part II

I’m experiencing similar obstruction in my case with the local police.

We were SWAT’d a year ago this month. But because I didn’t get myself shot by the dozen or so police around our happy home, they charged me with Felony Menacing. [NOTE: When they were pounding on the door as though to break it down, we thought it was a home invasion. So we armed ourselves and went down stairs to ‘greet’ whomever it was. Turned out to be the police.]

We recently had another release of ‘discovery’. This contains information that was NOT provided by the police back last March.

THAT is ‘obstruction of public justice’, as known in this state.

The police don’t like it when they’ve been caught breaking the law. And obstruction IS breaking the Law.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

No, don’t disarm them, fire them.

Remove the rot entirely, and then start fresh, making it clear that any of the replacements that can’t restrain themselves, or believe that they are above the law that everyone else has to follow, will also be removed from their position, and investigated and charged if appropriate.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Fire the entire police force, nationwide? It could never happen in the USA. The police unions are much too powerful. (and the way the’re increasingly being armed with bigger and more lethal battlefield weapons, the police could conceivably even take over the country if ‘push ever came to shove.’

Though that sort of thing has indeed happened before. Mikhail Saakashvili, president of the Republic of Georgia, fired and replaced the nationwide police force a decade ago, and the situation in that country has been much improved ever since.

Ukraine accomplished much the same last year, but only after the government was overthrown, and the established order revamped top to bottom. (Come to think of it, that might not be such a bad idea here in the good ol’ USA.)

Pragmatic says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

The trouble with attempting to revamp ANYTHING is that you can’t leave a vacuum. If you do, the strongest-willed, most organized group will take over the administration of the state and run it.


We’ve got that now. Religious fascists have taken over the levers of power because they control many of our legislatures while telling us to mistrust government on principle.

If you don’t understand the importance of administration you won’t understand why we can’t just shoot our way out of this.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 RE: What Needs to be Done

While that would help, given how often they can do whatever they want(up to and including killing someone on camera) and never be charged with a crime, that would seem to be a secondary fix.

Qualified Immunity only really kicks in once they’ve been charged, and are in court, and there are example a’plenty showing how rare that is, so while removing it would certainly be something I would support, as far as ‘needed fixes’ go it’s a bit down the list of priorities.

cbpelto (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 RE: What Needs to be Done

RE: Qualified Immunity….

….is what PREVENTS them from being charged.

The DAs don’t care to charge them in the first place.

Even when the DAs go for a Grand Jury, they only show the jurors the evidence they want them to see, in order to get the verdict they desire. Cases in point:

• Jonathan Ferrell — Charlotte NC, running to the police after surviving an auto accident….gets gunned down.

• Michael Brown — Fergusen, MO. In this case the charges against Wilson should not have been shooting Brown, rather firing upon him as he ran away.

Qualified immunity, when applicable, shields government officials from liability for the violation of an individual’s federal constitutional rights[contradictory]. This grant of immunity is available to state or federal employees performing discretionary functions where their actions, even if later found to be unlawful, did not violate “clearly established law.” — Wikipedia on Qualified Immunity

With these ‘Rules of Engagement’, DAs won’t even bother attempting to charge LEOs. Even in the more egregious circumstances, e.g., the Georgia Chief Of Police who shot his own wife.

cbpelto (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 RE: What Needs to be Done

ADDENDUM: I’m confident that once the police realize they’re going to be held to the same letter of the Law that all the rest of US are, they’ll not be so trigger-happy.

As evidence, I point you to the report that in Oakland, CA, where they are strictly enforcing the police wear body-cams, the number of police-involved shootings of people to death dropped from EIGHT per year to ZERO in the last 18 months.

Removing Qualified Immunity would be a lot cheaper than equipping every LEO with a body cam….which all to frequently ‘malfunctions’ in all too many police departments.

Philip Storry says:

I will try not to weep

On this next Tuesday, I will have the privilege of being at the British Library viewing the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta.

I doubt I have to tell any visitors to the website what the Magna Carta is, but for those who may wonder I will simply say it is the embryonic charter of all rights you assume you have today. You should undertake a study of it and its impact on the world.

On Tuesday, I will try my best to forget this news article. I will try my best to view those four vellums with the optimism and reverence that they inspire and deserve.

But this news undermines my ability to do that. And I am not American, and cannot legally protest or contest this news, and therefore I find myself simply offended by it – and unable to change it. This simply compounds my foul mood around this subject.

And that is why a British citizen feels he must forget news of an American abuse of justice, lest he weep when he views those four surviving vellums that sought to establish our rights so soundly.

Any tears in the British Library on Tuesday will be well deserved, and a sad reflection on how far our principles have drifted.

But I will try to forget this, so that there will be no tears.

I will try.

No matter how hard this, and so many other news articles, may make it.

I will try.

If only out of respect for the principles of that 800 year old charter, and the empty words that are still sadly spoken in its shadow.

cbpelto (profile) says:

Re: Training

RE: When Did Peace Officers Become Judge Dredd?

It happened back in the early 90s, when the FBI set aside the doctrine of ‘Protection of Life’ with regards to the use of deadly force.

You can check it out in certain references. I found it in the following….

Deadly Force: What We Know — A Practicioner’s Desk Reference on Police
Involved Shootings by Geller and Scott (©1992). See pages 274-5.

Mr. X says:

This is nothing new

The Wichita Police Department has been allowing their Gestapo stormtroopers to murder innocent civilians for decades.

I recall back in the early 80s, a WPD cop named A.E. Rey and two of his cop buddies beat a homeless man to death in the downtown area. They were all fired and charged with murder. They got off with the usual slap on the wrist.

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