WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – An incomplete investigation, inappropriate punishment, and failed leadership. Those are some of the findings from a committee set up to investigate inappropriate text messages within the Wichita Police Department.
One of the big questions is, what will happen to the cases the officers who are accused of misconduct are involved in? There’s a possibility they could be put on the Brady-Giglio list, a list compiled by a prosecutor’s office or police department that contains the names and details of law enforcement officers who have had sustained incidents of truthfulness, criminal convictions, candor issues, or some other type of issue placing their credibility into question.
Three Sedgwick County Sheriff’s deputies were involved in the inappropriate text messages as well.
Once Sheriff Easter found out, he immediately went to the District Attorney (DA) to show him. Because of Brady-Giglio, law enforcement officers must notify the District Attorney of any biases, crimes, or deceitful offenses. Then the DA must turn over that information to the defense attorneys if it applies to their case.
“In a system of justice, shouldn’t the accused and the jury be entitled to know about evidence that tends to infect the other evidence presented against the presumptively innocent accused person,” asked Dan Monnat, Criminal Defense Attorney.
While being on the list does not mean that person must be terminated from the department. Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter says that in his office, they take it as a firing offense.
“Being able to give a testimony in a court of law that’s how we resolve crimes. That’s how we serve victims. And if we’re Brady-Giglio impaired, it jeopardizes that from happening because more than likely, the DA’s office is either gonna have to dismiss the case, or they’re gonna have to figure out how to prosecute the case without using that particular deputies testimony because of what they’ve done,” Easter said.
KSN News reached out to DA Marc Bennett and gave the following statement: “The process of reviewing the investigation and its impact on cases is ongoing. A final assessment of this review will take additional time.”