WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Newly-released court documents allege former Wichita Police Department (WPD) Captain Wendell Nicholson leaked police information 87 times to people who were not authorized.
Nicholson was charged by the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office with eight counts of computer crimes in March and made an appearance in court in May.
The affidavit claims Nicholson, from Oct. 23, 2021, to Jan. 17, 2023, sent information via text message to people with information related to shooting investigations, domestic violence reports, gang members, and information from a case within the Exploited Missing Child Unit (EMCU) involving a one-month-old child.
The court filing specifically references the EMCU case, saying Nicholson allegedly sent information regarding the case to a former law enforcement officer who was working as a security guard at a local business.
The affidavit alleges the former officer showed a screenshot of the information to a coworker, who then showed it to an officer who works in the EMCU, who reported the incident.
The affidavit also says Nicholson sent “several images” involving the investigation into the SWAT team, which appear to be copies of the internal investigation the Wichita Police Department conducted.
According to the affidavit, Nicholson took footage from AXON body cameras worn by Wichita police officers and sent it to people who were not authorized including video that “shows a Wichita police officer in a physical altercation with a Black male. The altercation ends with an officer-involved shooting” according to the document.
One individual who did not have a police background said he “has been receiving messages like the screenshot of the email from Wendell in the group chat for years… the frequency was approximately once a week,” the affidavit said. That individual said he had never been in law enforcement and did not know it was wrong to receive the messages.
Nicholson retired from the WPD in March after 29 years with the department, one day before he was charged in this case.
Nicholson is next due in court on May 25.