The city of Wichita, Kan., released a copy Tuesday of the full claim document that a grieving family filed against the city claiming that Icarus Randolph, a Marine veteran struggling with his mental health, was needlessly and wrongly shot by a police officer who ignored the Wichita Police Department's policy on engaging mentally ill individuals, the Wichita Eagle reports.
Randolph was killed last year on the Fourth of July in his mother's front yard as family members watched on in horror, well in the line of fire, the claim states. The family is seeking $5 million in damages.
The claim targets one officer in particular, saying that although he was trained to handle those grappling with mental illness, he violated department policy and escalated the situations. The claim states that he argued with family members while Randolph was listening, when, under policy, the family should have been escorted from the front yard to help defuse the situation and protect them, according to the Eagle.
The officer further escalated the situation by advancing toward Randolph without giving himself space to back down if need be. According to the report, department policy states that the police should function mainly to de-escalate situations with people who are mentally ill so that the individual may get treatment.
The claim, which is needed before a lawsuit can be filed, was submitted June 2, the Eagle notes.
According to the news site, Randolph's mother, Beverly Alford-Allen, was hesistant to call the authorities on that tragic day. While she was growing up, Alford-Allen had reportedly “witnessed … a police officer shoot her father to death, and being aware of the reputation of the Wichita police, [she] was hesitant to make the call to 911, fearing such a call might be a death sentence for her son,” the claim notes.
His family had reportedly become concerned after Randolph began speaking incoherently, and noted that he had seemed disturbed by the noise of fireworks the night before. He was not responsive to relatives' questions and sat in front of his computer, listening to music and holding a folding knife in his hand.
However, the family eventually relented and called 911, prompting the response of two unidentified officers, who responded to the mental-health-check request. One of Randolph's sisters, Ida Allen, "warned officers" to be alert when they went in, since the former Marine had "something in his hand."
One officer, identified only as "Officer 2," was reportedly unhelpful, according to the claim, and declared that the young man did not have to go for treatment if he did not want to. Randolph's mother attempted to reach a 911 dispatcher but kept on being directed back to the same officer, who allegedly ignored the family's request to get a police supervisor to the scene.
A discussion ensued for about 10-15 minutes between the police and family, before Randolph began screaming in the house.
“The officers saw Icarus kick the screen out, come out walking slowly. Icarus wasn’t heading for any specific person or destination, but was just walking. He did have something in his right hand, but it could not be seen at the time and his right hand was down by his side," the claim read.
Officer 2 then "moved into Icarus' path," and according to the family, there were no commands for the vet to stop. Randolph was "walking slowly … had his hands at his side in a nonthreatening manner," with "expressionless" and "vacant" eyes. At that point, Officer 2 fired his Taser at the former Marine before dropping it and firing four rounds from his handgun without pause, according to the report.
According to the Eagle, when Randolph's mother attempted to get to her son, the officer "aimed his gun at her and said 'get back, or I'll shoot you too.' "
The claim stated that a knife was found near Randolph's body, but "none of the family saw it in his hand when he came out of the house before he was shot.
“No ambulance or assistance was called or offered for 10-15 minutes,” the claim continued.
Read more at the Wichita Eagle.