KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) A fired white Kansas police officer has been indicted in the fatal shooting of a black man last year while investigating a domestic dispute, prosecutors announced Monday.
Matthew Harrington, 25, made his first court appearance Monday on one count of involuntary manslaughter in the July 2017 death of 47-year-old Antonio Garcia Jr., said Leavenworth County Prosecutor Todd Thompson. He was released on $50,000 bond.
Harrington was fired in January for what Leavenworth Police Chief Patrick Kitchens said was a violation of the departments use of deadly force policy. At the time, Harringtons attorneys released a statement saying that his actions were consistent with the departments use of force policies and procedures.
McCauley and Roach, the law firm representing Harrington, said in a statement Monday that Harrington used force only because of a clear and immediate threat to his life.
We are confident that justice will be served when Officer Harrington is exonerated based upon the reasonableness of his actions, the statement said.
Harrington, now of Henderson, Nevada, had been dispatched to Garcias home after an argument between family members. Police said in a news release that Garcia had left the home before Harrington arrived, but returned a short time later and encountered the officer.
Relatives have said Harrington tried to stop Garcia from leaving and that Garcia was shot when he tried to drive away in his sport utility vehicle.
Ken Barnes, one of the attorneys representing Garcias family, said: They are relieved that there are finally some charges being filed. They are disappointed that it is involuntary manslaughter and not something more serious, but they are relieved that the justice system is holding this man accountable.
Barnes said the family is considering a wrongful death lawsuit. Theyre already suing over access to video of the shooting because only Barnes, his co-council and Garcias wife were able to view the video in a police conference room. The family hasnt been provided a copy of the video, and other relatives havent seen it.
Leavenworth is about 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Kansas City, Missouri.
Stay connected to the stories and events that make your community a special place to call home.
Subscriptions start at $14.90/month.View subscription options
- Unmatched coverage of Allen County’s local news and sports, a tradition dating back to 1867
- Compelling portraits of our residents, experienced reporting and thoughtful analysis
- Unlimited online access to iolaregister.com and our archives