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Local police leaders speak after Tire Nichols

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Less than an hour after police camera video of Tire Nichols was posted, Wichita Police Chief Joe Sullivan posted a video statement on the Wichita Police Department (WPD) Facebook page.

In that statement, she says she wants to assure Wichitans that the department is “not just here for you, but here with you,” emphasizing a “community first” approach.

“I also want to assure the citizens of Wichita that the WPD supports you in your anger, sadness and frustration at this despicable act of violence committed by five human beings who dishonored your badge,” Chief Sullivan said.

Chief Sullivan went on to say that the WPD will continue to set the standard for how the community and police work together.

“We do not support or defend officers who act as if they are above the law and use excessive and unnecessary force against those they are sworn to protect and serve,” Chief Sullivan said.

A statement from the Wichita branch of the NAACP reads in part: “This situation demonstrates the power dynamic and barbarous culture underpinning the police. The Wichita NAACP will continue to work with our local, state and national government agencies and legislators to advocate for dramatic change in law enforcement.”

Wichita NAACP chairman Larry Burks Sr. says he’s asking Chief Sullivan and the WPD for a change.

“This is going to be his first major test, obviously, but we have to, to give him the opportunity to see what’s going to happen, and what kind of influence and changes he’s going to make because this is definitely going to be something that needs to happen,” Burks said.

Community leader Herman Hicks, senior pastor of the Greater Pentecostal Church of God in Christ, says he agrees with the Memphis police chief’s handling of the situation. He says he hopes other law enforcement leaders will make quick justice the norm, not the exception.

“You can’t help but wonder why this doesn’t happen with all the other cases we’ve seen around the country, and I just hope that what they’ve seen in Memphis, will happen in the rest of the country. It doesn’t matter the color of the officer. If they’re wrong, they’re wrong,” Pastor Hicks said.

On Friday, KSN News contacted the WPD and the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office (SGCO) directly to request interviews. Both the WPD and the SGCO have declined our requests at this time.

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