Wichita police chief responds to Chauvin verdict

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is behind bars after a jury found him guilty on three criminal charges related to the death of George Floyd. He will be sentenced in eight weeks.

Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay said he stayed up to date with the trial in Minneapolis. He said justice prevailed and that his department is committed to working to strengthen community relationships.

Ramsay said he was not surprised Chauvin was found guilty on all three charges.

“I was horrified by what I saw on the video, and while it’s one thing to view a video without all the facts as you know — when I got all the facts, that confirmed my initial feelings,” Chief Ramsay said. “I think justice was served.”

Last summer, protests in Wichita over the incident sparked conversations with local law enforcement.

“The current events have spawned a lot of new activists, and we want to meet with people and talk about what we’re doing here, their concerns, listen and be the best we can because we care,” said Ramsay.

Ramsay said prior to Floyd’s death, the department had been working on de-escalation strategies — the duty of fellow officers to intervene if they see other officers crossing a line.

He said they are steps in the right direction, but more work needs to be done.

“I think it has raised the awareness of policing issues and created dialogue, and it’s important for us to continue to meet and discuss and hear from each other and work to be the best we can.”

Ramsay said the next step is reaching out to the city’s youth. The department is actively pursuing ways to engage with the younger community. He also is pushing to get more resources to teens in underserved areas of Wichita.

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