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Eagle editorial: Help displaced residents

  • Published Friday, August 2, 2013, at 12 a.m.

Many of the decisions faced by city leaders are tough. Here’s an easy one: Helping the displaced residents of Southlake Village Apartments whose belongings were trashed in July’s 32-hour standoff.

After shooting suspect Jared Woosypiti barricaded himself in an acquaintance’s apartment in the complex, officers targeted him with tear gas, a water cannon, controlled blasts and gunfire. His life ended in the ordeal. Little was salvageable in six apartments, and three families reportedly filed claims.

Law enforcement did its job. Now the city should cover the comparatively modest cost of replacing the residents’ clothes, furniture and other items – basic necessities destroyed through no fault of their own.

The public can help, too: Contributions to “Alyssa Cooper’s Building 8 Fund” are being accepted at Cessna Employees Credit Union locations.

The Police Department’s review of the claims and recommendations could be final Monday, “at which time the claims will be reviewed by the Law Department and recommendations made regarding their payment,” city attorney Gary Rebenstorf told The Eagle editorial board on Thursday.

By letting three weeks go by, City Hall arguably has taken too long already to help these Wichitans, whose means are limited.

One affected resident, a disabled veteran, told The Eagle: “I want the city to do the right thing.”

That’s not too much to ask.

For the editorial board, Rhonda Holman

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