Archive for Wednesday, October 4, 2017

As family calls for answers, Lawrence police silent on investigation into fatal shooting by Topeka officer

October 4, 2017, 11:52 a.m. Updated October 4, 2017, 12:40 p.m.


— A Kansas lawmaker is calling for more communication after Topeka police fatally shot a man during what authorities have described as a struggle.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Democratic Rep. John Alcala, of Topeka, says the city needs to "have a little empathy" and provide a liaison to the family of Dominique Tyrell White. The 30-year-old was fatally shot Thursday near a park. Police say his gun was recovered. White was months out of prison after being prosecuted for burglary and illegal gun possession.

Family spokeswoman Heather Joyce says police in Topeka and Lawrence, which is investigating, aren't providing any information. Police also have denied requests from The Capital-Journal seeking the identity of officers involved and other records.

Lawrence police say there's no information to provide while conducting their investigation.

The Capital-Journal reports that a research firm focusing on best practices for police released a 2015 report emphasizing the quick release of information during a crisis. Included in the report are lessons learned from the 2014 police shooting in Ferguson, Mo.

“If a police department is not part of the narrative that is written by traditional news media and social media in the first hours and days of a critical event,” the report from the Police Executive Research Forum says, “it will lose the opportunity to present its perspective on the story, and probably will never regain that opportunity.”

The report also says: “As a police executive, you often will receive advice from lawyers in your department or local government to be cautious and release information only when necessary. This advice is designed to minimize legal risks, but it often does not account for the damage that can be done to police-community relationships if police do not answer questions during a crisis.”


Francis Hunt 8 months, 2 weeks ago

"Lawrence police say there's no information to provide while conducting their investigation."

"Investigation is defined as a systematic, minute, and thorough attempt to learn the facts about something complex or hidden. See also examination, inquiry, research."

Common sense says you wait until an investigation is complete to release the findings. While I feel for the family this was a felon in possession of a firearm, correct? I would expect and demand nothing less than a thorough investigation.

Tom Thomson 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Topeka Capital Journal reported he'd been charged 2x with felon in possession. This would've been his third, which they claim likely would've been the final 'strike' and given him a life sentence.

Francis Hunt 8 months, 2 weeks ago

LJWorld I see you added three paragraphs to the end of the story. Seriously? You are bringing up Ferguson? Are you intentionally trying to create problems? It's only been 6 days! We have had a mass shooting on our streets in the meantime and you are trying to cause problems by comparing the lack of information released to Ferguson? Would you prefer they release incomplete information or inaccurate information in order to be "part of the narrative that is written by traditional news..." and then have to backtrack? Irresponsible journalism, disgusting!

Jennifer Harrison 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Here is the lesson learned in Ferguson...Dont believe a damn thing printed by the media!!! A majority of the journalists (I use that term very loosely) are a bunch of lying, sensationlistic, egotistical persons looking to boost their ratings based mediocre, rush to judgment reporting. Hands up, Don't shoot was a lie spread by the media and Ferguson paid the price.

David Holroyd 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Really, Mr. Francis Hunt! A mass shooting on our streets Lawrence streets or elsewhere...You write as if an expert in Journalism....shame, why don't you better define "mass shootings on our streets..." well maybe you don't even live in Lawrence or in fact, do not exist Mr. Hunt.

The Journal World has a lot of "fake names " on here posting.

Francis Hunt 8 months, 2 weeks ago

What do you mean define mass shooting? Five people were shot on a street in downtown Lawrence. How do you define mass shooting?

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