Wichita Task Force Calls For Changes

A task force is recommending an audit of Kansas “stand your ground” laws in response to the death of a Black Wichita teenager who was restrained facedown for more than 30 minutes while at a juvenile detention center.

The task force was formed after 17-year-old Cedric Lofton died in September after being restrained at the Sedgwick County Juvenile Intake and Assessment Center.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Mark Bennett cited the “stand your ground” self-defense laws as the reason the five officers who restrained Lofton while trying to handcuff him could not be charged.

The task force’s recommendations, which are not binding, also included a change in the intake center’s use-of-force policy to allow an upset youth who is in a cell to calm down, rather than holding him or her in a prone position, The Wichita Eagle reported.

The task force previously asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate whether law enforcement or corrections officers violated Lofton’s civil rights before his death.