WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — On Tuesday, May 24, the Wichita Police Department (WPD) revealed that Interim Chief of Police Lemuel Moore received a death threat last week.
According to the WPD, the threat warned Moore to leave Wichita, or he would die.
On Monday, May 23, KSN confirmed that Mayor Brandon Whipple and District 1 Council Member Brandon Johnson both received death threats over who will be the next leader of the Wichita Police Department.
“The message referenced both and said that they would die if they appoint a new police chief,” said the WPD.
Moore, Whipple and Johnson were all made aware of the threats immediately, according to the WPD.
“I will never succumb to intimidation, to threats,” said Whipple. “Moving forward, we’ve gotta make sure that we create the environment where folks feel like they can dialogue with election leaders without resorting to this type of illegal activity as a way to get a point across.”
“If you hear this type of dialogue or rhetoric, [shut] that down and [say], ‘that’s not acceptable.’ Ultimately, if you don’t like someone who’s in elected office, you work to get them out of office. That means going and getting people signed up to vote. That means supporting their opponent,” said Johnson.
Wichita police are considering the threats credible.
This is not the first time Whipple has received a death threat. Back in 2020, a man was arrested for allegedly threatening to kidnap and kill Whipple over the city mask ordinance. The man was later charged with three counts of criminal threats.
In March of 2022, Lem was appointed as the Interim Chief of Police. Whipple was elected as the Mayor of Wichita in the Nov. 5, 2019, election and was sworn into office on Jan. 13, 2020. Johnson was elected to serve as Wichita’s District 1 Council Member in 2017.