Mother asking for information about daughter's death wins court - KCTV5

Mother asking for information about daughter's death wins court ruling

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PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS (KCTV) -

A woman whose depressed daughter was killed by Prairie Village police officers two years ago went to court Wednesday, wanting more information about what happened that day and the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

A Johnson County judge ruled in favor of the mother, who wanted the police records detailing how her daughter was shot and killed.

Beverly Stewart said she had been asking questions regarding how her daughter, Susan Stuckey, was shot and killed by Prairie Village police officers, but she was not getting very many answers.

"My daughter was never on any drugs. Why did they have to kill her?" said Stewart.

After a two-hour stand-off in March 2010, police entered Stuckey's home. They attempted to use a Taser gun twice, but when she came at them with a knife, Prairie Village police shot and killed her. When her mother asked for police records for more detail, she was told the criminal records involving her daughter's deadly shooting could not be released.

"We also have an obligation to protect criminal records, we just cannot release," said Prairie Village Chief of Police Wes Jordan.

Stewart hired an attorney two years ago but says her attorney did not properly represent her and released himself just weeks before the statue of limitations on filing a civil case would occur.

"He was not doing his job. We thought we were represented and we weren't all this time," said Roger Stuckey, Susan's brother.

Attorneys representing the Prairie Village Police Department argued in court Wednesday that this was an attempt to sue Prairie Village police officers at the last minute. But the judge disagreed and ruled that, under the Kansas Open Records Act, unless the information met exceptions such as endangering officers' lives or interfering with an investigation, those records should be turned over.

"We want to see justice. By not giving up the records, it's like they have something to hide. Why not tell the truth and get it over with?" said Roger Stuckey.

"It was a sad event, no one is arguing the facts of that day," said Jordan.

There is a potential for a civil lawsuit against the Prairie Village Police Department, but the district attorney at the time, Steve Howe, ruled that the officers would not be prosecuted criminally.

Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.)  All rights reserved.

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