Police detective Justin Rapp killed 28-year-old Andrew Finch in 2017 on the front porch of his house in what’s now known as the United States’ first fatal swatting incident. Last week, the Wichita City Council finalized a $5 million settlement in a federal lawsuit against Rapp, according to The Wichita Eagle.
The lawsuit had been ongoing for five years before the city council voted 6-1 in favor of the settlement.
“It has been difficult to say the very least,” AlmaAnn Jones, spokesperson for the Finch family, told The Wichita Eagle. “I’ve watched this family go through disappointment after disappointment after disappointment and finally today we came together as a community. We got this done.”
Police were called to Finch’s house after California man Tyler Barriss made a false report to police which claimed a person in the house had killed someone and was holding others hostage. Barriss made the call over a Call of Duty: WWII match, and was recruited to the act by one of the Call of Duty players in that match, Casey Viner. Viner provided Barriss with the address, believed to be the home of the other Call of Duty player, Shane Gaskill. Finch did not know any of the men, and was unaware of the swatting call made to police. Viner was sentenced to 15 months in prison. Barriss will serve 20 years in prison.
Rapp was not charged for killing Finch, despite the fact that Finch was unarmed and did not threaten police officers on scene. The Wichita police did not investigate Rapp for policy violations, and he was later promoted to detective, according to The Wichita Eagle.
Wichita itself will cover $2 million of the settlement, with insurance taking on the rest.
The killing brought a national light to the ugly practice of swatting, an unfortunate and dangerous “prank” with a history in gaming culture. It’s used as a way to harass others, and it has been increasingly common for people to swat Twitch streamers. In 2021, a notorious Rainbow Six Siege cheater made a fake report to swat developer Ubisoft Montreal’s city office.