Since October 2011, the Wichita Police Department has fatally wounded five people in officer-related shootings. Each shooting is being investigated by the Kansas Bureau of Investigations, which has never found a Wichita police shooting to be unjustifiable.
What follows is a series of video interviews with the families of the victims of three of these tragic shooting deaths. In each case, the police claim that the victim confronted officers with weapons. In each of case, the victims' families refute these claims.
You will hear from Shakeitha Scales. Shakeitha is Timothy Freeborn Collins Jr.'s mother. Timothy was shot in the head by a Wichita police officer responding to a reported home invasion. Timothy, who died at the age of 17, had no criminal record, and, despite police claims, was not in a gang, which both his mother and his aunt, Angela Littlejohn, confirm.
Shante Day, the daughter of Karen Day Jackson, will speak about her mother, who was shot multiple times be Wichita police officers. The department claims Karen had a knife and was stabbing herself when they shot her. However, Karen's body does not have any stab wounds, only bullet wounds.
Karen, who was also known as "Mama Karen", had no criminal record and is described as being incapable of hurting a fly. Karen was 45 when she was killed.
And you will listen to Randal Smart talk about the night his son, Marquez Smart died. Marquez was shot by Wichita police officers in Old Town, after, police report, Smart opened fire on a crowd of people. Multiple people were shot in this incident and the police department refuses to release ballistic reports to confirm who was shot by whom.
Smart, 23, also had no criminal record and was not in a gang. Randal Smart says he has never seen his son with a firearm.
Randal Smart says the police asked him if his son had a gun, while they claim Marquez opened fire with one. The police also refuse to release autopsy information that would reveal if Smart had gun powder residue on his hands, consistent with firing a gun.
In fact, the department has refused to release police reports in all three cases and the coroner's office has refused to release autopsy reports in all three cases, to the families. The level of disrespect that all three families have endured by the department can be best summed up with Randal Smart having an officer tell him that he wishes he was the one who shot his son.
The police stories involving these cases are readily available online and most of the information the police have released can be found at the Wichita Eagle, at Kansas.com.
Watch this video, and listen to these families' stories. As you do, try to imagine that this was your son, or your aunt, or your mother.