WICHITA — “No one’s happy about the situation at all. But it’s an opportunity to do the right thing,” said Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple.
Just one day after Wichita leaders announced an investigation into the police department regarding alleged inappropriate and racist messages being shared by officers, Mayor Whipple said he’s already warning of the repercussions.
“In these types of situations, it’s going to lead to these cases getting tossed out so that other cases can actually take precedence over them, which means we will potentially have people who committed crimes going out scot free,” said Whipple.
It’s actually a law under “Brady-Giglio”, which means when law enforcement officers are called as witnesses, a prosecutor must disclose any evidence that could impact the accuracy of their testimony.
“They have a history of the deviant behavior behind the association they have with each other in the attitude that they have. And that’s something that we should not tolerate,” said Larry Burks Sr., the President NAACP-Wichita.
The district attorney’s office has already pulled all of the records involving the sheriff’s office employees who Sheriff Jeff Easter said were sharing similar and offensive texts.
The DA dismissed about 50 pending traffic tickets, 10 pending and nonviolent criminal cases, and reviewed 120 criminal cases that had already been resolved by the three deputies who were involved.
“I really appreciate the DA going and doing what he has already done with the cases that those officers have been involved with. And those are being looked at right now. I understand that some of those cases have been dismissed. I’m sure a whole lot more that needs to take place,” said Burks Sr.
“Motive, interest, bias, dishonesty is always relevant to credibility,” said Dan Monnat, a local defense attorney.
Monnat said prosecutors can’t withhold evidence that would favor someone accused of a crime.
“Isn’t the jury entitled to know that the so-called objective, forthright testimony they heard from the law enforcement officer on the witness stand is in fact, shaded and undermined by the subjective racism of the off-duty policeman,” said Monnat.
District Attorney Marc Bennett sent an email response to KAKE News Wednesday night saying he did meet with representatives with the WPD, but at this point in the process he’s still assessing the situation and does not have an update.
See full video at KAKE.com