Local sheriff and minister react to Chauvin verdict

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The trial for Derek Chauvin is over, and some say police reform is far from over.

“It has been at the forefront of what was discussed in numerous committees, numerous meetings,” said Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter.

Easter says it’s gone way beyond talk.

“There was individual police reforms taking place within law agencies. I know with the Sheriff’s Office, we actually put together a duty to intervene training.”

Duty to intervene is where a deputy or officer learns to intervene when another officer is doing something that can harm a person.

“So the entire department was trained on duty to intervene,” said Easter. “Because you can say it, but saying it and putting it into policy, you better train on it.”

Easter says justice was served in the Chauvin case, even though the justice system can be slow at times.

“I never commented when you guys asked about whether the officer was guilty, that’s just not who I am — who I am is you have to let the process work,” Easter said. “The justice system is slow.”

C. Richmond Kirkendoll, president of the Greater Wichita Ministerial League, says pastors are praying for peace and happy to see a verdict in the Chauvin case.

“I believe both Black and white believed their eyes. They believed what they saw,” Kirkendoll said. “And that white, Black or whatever, that we all can come together, and say this is one of those moments that is sad, but we are glad that justice was served, and it’s time to move on,” he added.

Kirkendoll says there are many prayers for peace right now. He says he understands the need for some to celebrate. But he also hopes all communities can come to an understanding that there is still a need for change.

“Now I just pray, I really pray that we will come together, and let’s just really start to move forward now,” Kirkendoll said.

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