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Friday, May 20, 2022

Citing “Stand Your Own” Law, District Attorney Won’t File Charges in Kansas Teen’s Death

“The idea of ​​permanent protection or immunity makes absolutely no sense based on the facts in this case,” he added.

A spokesman said on Tuesday that Mr. Bennett would have no further comment.

In his report, Mr. Bennett explained the reliability of the state’s statute for standing his ground. He wrote that Kansas appeals courts had ruled that people had the right to shoot an unarmed assailant who punched them in the face; stabbing an unarmed neighbor with a sword after being threatened and harassed in his own garage; and shoot an unarmed man in the back, believing he was running to the car to retrieve the gun.

Mr. Bennett wrote that there was no evidence that throughout the brawl, which lasted about 35 minutes, workers noticed Mr. Lofton was in a bad physical condition. Evidence suggests that Mr. Lofton continued to resist throughout the fight, meaning employees could continue to “lawfully apply restrictions,” Mr. Bennett wrote.

Mr. Lofton continued to make statements that led staff to believe that “either he was under the influence of drugs or he was in a mental health crisis,” Mr. Bennett wrote. Staff said no “full weight” was placed on Mr. Lofton while he was prone, and videos show adults kneeling or lying down next to Mr. Lofton, Mr. Bennett wrote.

District Corrections officers involved in the clash have been placed on paid administrative leave while the District Attorney’s investigation is awaited, Sedgwick County officials said. Staff status has not changed, County spokesman Akim Ashford said late Tuesday. Mr Ashford said there were no disciplinary actions related to Mr Lofton’s death.

A forensic medical examination determined that the cause of death was homicide. “In my opinion,” forensic scientist Dr. Timothy S. Gorrill wrote last month, “Cedric Lofton died as a result of complications of cardiopulmonary insufficiency following physical wrestling while lying down.”

The discovery comes months after Jeff Easter, the county sheriff, said in September that a preliminary autopsy showed Mr. Lofton had not sustained life-threatening injuries at the center.

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