Monday, March 19, 2018

KS: Over 10% of Topeka Homicides were Justified

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Topeka Kansas had 30 homicides in 2017. That is a record setting number. Of the 30 homicides, four have been ruled as justified so far.  The Topeka Capitol-Journal published that nine of the homicide investigations were still open at the end of the year.  Presumably, the Cazee-Watkins case was one of those. From
Cazee-Watkins was arrested Thursday in connection with criminal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and interference with a law enforcement officer (conceal/alter/destroy evidence). He is being held on a $20,000 bond.

“The death of Kenneth Vetaw was investigated simultaneously with the charged offenses,” Kagay said in an email. “The law enforcement investigation concluded the actions leading to Kenneth Vetaw’s death were committed in self-defense. Upon reviewing the results of the investigation, I concur that there was not sufficient evidence to file a homicide-related charge.”


Kenneth Vetaw’s death is the city’s fourth homicide of last year’s 30 to be ruled justified.
The Capitol-Journal reported that three cases had unknown motives, 11 cases were gang related, five were domestic and six were "arguments".

A Topeka police spokesman said most of the homicides involved people during "high-risk" activities.

One of the justified homicides was a police involved shooting. That leaves three cases, minimum, that were justified homicides by non-police.

While this sample is too small for large conclusions, the numbers fit well with the overall prediction that about 10% of all homicides are justified.  This is five times the number of justified homicides recorded in the FBI Uniform Crime Reports. The severe under-reporting of justified homicides by the FBI UCR system has been well documented.

In 2016, the number of homicides (murder, and non-negligent homicides) was reported at 15,070. The number of justified homicides reported by non-police was 331.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I personally know of two cases that were police involved shootings that were ruled justified and the factual evidence prove assignations. both by California high way patrol. Before body cams. the news video shows a California Highway patrolman emptying his gun into a man with both hands on the steering wheel. Another several hits to the chest of a woman and one to the head.