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Kan. man gets 25 years for shooting at officers during 2020 George Floyd protest

Henry E. Parker had bragged to a co-worker about how he “emptied a whole clip” on officers because his sister had been hit with a rubber bullet

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By Amy Renee Leiker
The Wichita Eagle

WICHITA, Kan. — A Wichita man will serve 25 years in prison for shooting at police officers in riot gear and armored vehicles during a nighttime protest at 21st and Arkansas in June 2020.

A Sedgwick County jury in July found Henry E. Parker, 30, guilty of 18 counts of aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer, two counts of aggravated battery of a law enforcement officer and one count of criminal possession of a firearm in what prosecutors have said was a targeted attack on Wichita cops trying to disperse an unruly crowd early on June 2, 2020. The unrest followed a mostly peaceful protest calling for an end to police brutality after the May 25, 2020, killing of George Floyd.

Prosecutors at trial said Parker left an overnight shift at his gas station job, drove to the protest and opened fire on police before heading back to work. Snapchat footage of the shooter and witness statements helped investigators solve the case.

Parker’s lawyer argued that the cops arrested the wrong man. Parker, the lawyer contended at the trial, left work to pick up a friend and was gone for so short a time that he couldn’t have driven to the protest site.

A co-worker of Parker’s told police he had bragged about how he “emptied a whole clip” on officers because a woman he referred to as his sister had been hit with a rubber bullet while she held a baby, according to a probable cause affidavit released by the court.

Former Wichita police Chief Gordon Ramsay has said officers used non-lethal deterrents including tear gas, smoke rounds, flash grenades and foam bullets on the crowd after rioters threw objects at police and refused to leave the area. Around 45 Wichita police officers and SWAT members were there, around 900 W. 21st St., that morning.

Bullets of debris from the gunfire grazed at least two officers’ riot helmets. Some feared for their lives and safety, prosecutors told the jurors before they handed down guilty verdicts on 21 charges.

Sedgwick County District Judge David Dahl imposed the 300-month sentence, Dan Dillon, a spokesman for the Sedgwick County District Atttorney’s Office, said by email.

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