Leavenworth County Prosecutor Todd Thompson announced Monday that Matthew Harrington, of Henderson, Nevada, has been indicted on one count of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Antonio Garcia Jr.
Police have kept he video of the incident hidden from the public for over a year. “What is so difficult for the public to see in this video that you have to hide it?” asked attorney Ben Crump, last month, who has represented other families whose loved ones have been shot by police across the country. “It’s been a year now. You’ve done the investigation ... you don’t need to say no more. Show the video.
“What are they hiding?”
The shooting of Garcia was prominently featured in The Star’s series in November about the lack of transparency in Kansas government titled, “Why so secret, Kansas?” One article centered on the Leavenworth shooting and the department’s refusal to release police camera footage or the officer’s name. Police only released Harrington’s name in late January when the officer was fired.
Harrington was fired in January for what Leavenworth Police Chief Patrick Kitchens called a violation of the department’s use of deadly force policy.
Attorney Ken Barnes says the Garcia family is “relieved” and is considering a wrongful death lawsuit. Harrington’s bond was set at $50,000 when he appeared in court Monday.
Harrington had been dispatched to Garcia’s home in the 1700 block of Rose Street after an argument between family members.
Garcia left the home before Harrington arrived, but soon returned and encountered the officer, according to a release from the police department.
At one point while Garcia was still in his SUV, Harrington fired his weapon, striking and killing Garcia, according to Leavenworth police.
Relatives have said Harrington tried to stop Garcia from leaving, and the two struggled over the door of the vehicle. Garcia tried to drive away, and the officer fired about five shots, relatives said, hitting Garcia in the head and chest.
From the day of the shooting until he was fired six months later, the officer had been on paid administrative leave. He earned $38,140 a year.