Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude
We may earn a commission from links on this page.
Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

Jury Throws Out Wrongful Death Claim From Family Of Mentally Ill Veteran Killed By Wichita Police

"I do not believe that a white man or a white family would have been treated this way," family attorney William Skepnik said.

We may earn a commission from links on this page.
Icarus Randolph.
Icarus Randolph.
Photo: The Wichita Eagle

On Wednesday, a jury decided that a Wichita police officer was acting in self defense when he shot and killed 26-year-old Icarus Randolph in front of Randolph’s family on July 4, 2014.

The relatives of the slain Marine veteran sued the officer responsible for the killing, Ryan Snyder, as well as the city of Wichita for $5 million for wrongful death and other allegations.

Snyder’s trial lasted for eight days and ended Wednesday afternoon. However, it only took the jury less than an hour to rule in the officer’s favor.

Advertisement

The lead attorney for the family, William Skepnik, said racism is the obvious reason for their decision:

“I wish I could say I was amazed or shocked. It’s hard for me to not see a racial component in this. I do not believe that a white man or a white family would have been treated this way. These people were treated as people that don’t matter.”

Advertisement

The main attorney for Snyder and the city, ironically named Steven Pigg, stated: “The jury system works. ... This is justice.” For the last week, the jury heard testimony from Randolph’s family who witnessed the shooting first hand. They also heard an account from Snyder, a crisis intervention-trained officer who shot Randolph four times in the chest after he alleges a taser didn’t stop him.

On the July 4 call to 911, Beverly Allen asked for an ambulance to take her son to Ascension Via Christi St. Joseph for mental health treatment. Everyone stated that Randolph was shirtless and wearing camouflage Marine capris.

Advertisement

They agreed he was holding a pocket knife with an almost 4-inch blade by his side when Snyder and fellow officer Danny Brown appeared on the scene. Snyder and Brown claimed that Randolph had an “aggressive” look as he walked toward the officer, while the victim’s family claimed he was in a daze.

Snyder also told the jury he was 5 to 7 feet from Randolph and backpedaling when he shot him with both the Taser and the gun; Brown told police investigators the day of the shooting that Snyder and Randolph were 10 to 15 feet apart.

Advertisement

“We have to live with, we made the call that killed him,” sister Ida Allen said on the stand.