WICHITA, Kan (KSNW) – After a lot of questions on Friday over what comes next in the response to the CJ Lofton case, county leaders decided to support more efforts to find out what the US Department of Justice could do after Lofton died after being in custody.
On Saturday, some said the best option could be to come up with a grand jury investigation.
It is in Kansas state law if enough citizens disagree with a state finding of no felony charges that a citizen grand jury can be put into place to investigate if Kansas law was broken.
So how does a citizen grand jury come about?
It begins through a petition process where Sedgwick County would need to have about 3,500 valid signatures on a petition for this jury to happen.
From there, a district county judge would determine if the petition has had enough valid signatures under the statute’s requirements.
If this jury is then formed, it would consist of 15 random jurors from the county. From there, the jury would be able to determine if the facts support the findings to potentially charge someone in this case with a crime.
“Again, it is a pretrial so because they look at all of the evidence to determine whether or not someone believes off of evidence where Kansas law is broken and then is it reasonable to charge someone with a crime and then prosecute them,” said Sedgwick County Commissioner Jim Howell.
From there, if the jury does not agree with the original findings, then the matter could be prosecuted like any other criminal case.