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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Citizens’ review board for the shootings of Wichita Police

For several years Occupy Wichita and other community activists have been calling for a citizen’s review board for the shootings of Wichita Police Department.
Several members approached the District 6 Advisory Board, of the Delano district of Wichita, to propose their idea of a citizens’ Review board.
“All the police shootings have been justified over the last 30 years, each and everyone,” said Bill Anderson, who spoke at the meeting. “Some of these people have been shot in the back. The current system has caused a lot of mistrust. We have heard about the abuse of power and we don’t know if it’s true or not.”
He also said his group was told, years ago, that family members can’t get information on people who have been shot.
“When people are shot in the back—right or wrong it’s not good,” Anderson said.
“The news paper doesn’t help,” said Janice Bradley. “They made one lady look like she was crazy. Her neighbors knew her and could not believe she was described like that.”
Janice Bradly also spoke about a woman who was shot drunk on her property.
At least three people were calling for a citizens review board to overlook these shootings, during the meeting. The Board took no action.
A more in-depth description of the citizens’ review board is listed on 
Occupy Wichita’s Web site:
Point Proposal for a Functioning Citizens’ Review Board;
We are a group composed of victims of police violence and Occupy Wichita. We have been demonstrating to inform the community about the problem of police violence in Wichita. We have also gone to city council to make an appeal for a functioning citizens review board of WPD. So we have come to this meeting to say what we’d like to see this board become to continue pushing for a functioning citizen’s review board.
We feel that this board needs to make the following changes to the way it operates in order to become what we believe would result in an effective and trustworthy oversight on the WPD from the community:

After 30 years of police shootings with nothing ever found out of place, those who want a Citizens’ Review Board have good reasons and this is one issue that is not going to go away, here in Wichita anytime soon.
Pix from KWCH.

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