Officer Justin Rapp: The Name The City Of Wichita Will Not Speak

The City of Wichita and the Wichita Police Department refuse to comment on Officer Justin Rapp

  • Multiple sources have claimed to The Daily Haze that Rapp is allegedly the officer responsible for shooting Andrew Finch

  • The shooting occurred after a prank “Swatting” call was made from California on December 28, 2017

  • Requests for any information on Rapp have been ignored by both the city and the WPD

It has been over a month since an officer from the Wichita Police Department fatally shot 28-year-old Andrew Finch following a hoax “Swatting” call. Despite pressure from the Finch family, media, and residents of Wichita, the City of Wichita and the WPD refuse to release any information about the officer who pulled the trigger on December 28, 2017.

Multiple sources under the promise of anonymity claimed to The Daily Haze that the officer allegedly responsible for killing Finch is 33-year-old Justin L Rapp. Rapp and his partner, Robert Thatcher have represented the WPD on the television program COPS on more than one occasion in 2015. According to his profile on COPS, Rapp joined the force in March 2010.

Some Of What We Know About Rapp

A Facebook post from October 1, 2015, gives the impression that Rapp is WSU Beta Theta Pi Alumni. The Facebook page for WSU Beta Theta Pi Alumni shared a picture from the WPD Facebook page after Rapp was part of a group of officers that helped to recover an eagle statue stolen from the Boy Scouts of America. The caption for the shared image read, “Check out Brother Justin Rapp.” Rapp is seen standing in the bed of a pickup truck next to the recovered eagle.

Rapp is former military. Video of Rapp in 2009 shows him wishing his fiancee at the time “Happy Valentine’s Day” while he was stationed in Kuwait as a Specialist for the 129th Transportation Company. The video was uploaded to dvids but has been removed.

A video from his brother Bryan Rapp’s YouTube channel that showed Rapp at a shooting range was also removed following TDH’s original article on Rapp. At this point, it appears that Rapp’s digital footprint has been scrubbed from existence, except for his profile on the COPS website.

Since the Finch shooting, the WPD has promised better transparency in police shootings. Officer Dexter Betts was fired and named after he fired his weapon at a dog inside a house. Betts missed the dog, but a piece of shrapnel struck a 9-year-old girl in the face. Along with Betts, several other officers from the WPD have been fired and publicly named for various crimes in the month following the Finch shooting.

Despite other officers being publicly named for crimes much less severe, the WPD has chosen to cover the Finch shooting in a cloak of secrecy that seems impenetrable at this point. Despite inquiries from the family, media, and the public, there have been no comments made in regards to the identity of the shooter or Officer Justin Rapp in specific.

Multiple sources have claimed to have seen Rapp doing security for a Walmart located on South Broadway in Wichita since the shooting. TDH was unable to verify this claim. While it does not appear anybody wants to confirm or deny Rapp’s involvement in the Finch shooting, the WPD has said that the officer responsible is now on paid administrative capacity. The decision to take the officer off of paid administrative leave has police reform advocates in Wichita nervous that District Attorney Marc Bennett has a predetermined mindset to declare the Finch shooting justified despite mounting evidence of the officer responsible acting irresponsibly.



About Meko Haze

Meko Haze is an independent journalist by day... and an independent journalist by night.

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