WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A Wichita mother who lost her son in a police shooting wants to know when the City of Wichita will pay up. Andrew Finch died five years ago this month. His mother says that should be plenty of time for the City to have settled money on his two children.
Lisa Finch spoke to the Wichita City Council Tuesday morning.
“Do you guys think your families matter more … to you than mine does to me?” she asked. “My grandchildren don’t have a father. Their mother does not have her soulmate.”
On Dec. 28, 2017, the Wichita Police Department was sent to the Finch home because someone had reported a murder and hostage situation at the house. At the time, the officers did not know it was a hoax call, often called “swatting.”
Finch went to the home’s front porch to talk to officers. During their interaction, another officer fired at him, and Finch died. The officer initially told detectives that he thought Finch had a gun but testified later that he didn’t see a weapon and shot him based on his hand motions.
In the five years since Finch’s death, the Kansas Legislature passed the Andrew Finch anti-swatting bill, the people responsible for the hoax have been sentenced, and the WPD promoted the officer who shot Finch.
However, lawsuits to get money for Finch’s two children are stuck in the courts. Finch left behind a toddler girl and a 7-year-old boy. Their mother supports them with her income. A family spokesperson says the girl is now starting to ask about what happened to her father, and the son is starting to read about the shooting on the internet.
Andrew Finch’s mother says the City Council has the power to demand a settlement for the family.
“You quote “Justice for all” every time you say the Pledge of Allegiance,” she told Council members Tuesday. “When will justice be served in this?”
“When will this case come to a close? Right or wrong. Justice. Whether we win or lose, it’s time to move forward,” she said.
When she was finished speaking, the mayor thanked her, and some people in the audience applauded. The mayor then reminded the audience about having decorum during Council meetings. The Council did not say anything else to Lisa Finch, and she left the podium.
KSN News spoke to Mayor Brandon Whipple after the meeting and asked him about the Finch family.
“The Finch lawsuit is still in litigation at the moment,” he said. “We are still following the legal process.”
He said the City Council cannot get involved.
“We’re not privileged to, to influencing the court’s or that legislative process,” Whipple said.
“It is a[n] absolute terrible situation, and every time Ms. Finch comes in to talk with us, we’re reminded that we want to keep moving forward so that we can come to the legal conclusion of this,” he said.
The Finch family spokesperson said there will be a vigil on Dec. 28 to mark the fifth anniversary of Andrew Finch’s death. Everyone is invited to meet at Riverfront Stadium, 275 S. McLean Blvd., at 6:30 p.m. There will be a few speakers, then a moment of silence at 7:01 p.m.
After that, people will get in their cars for a slow drive down Seneca, by the house where Finch was shot, up McLean to Pawnee and then by WPD Patrol South at Pawnee and Broadway.