WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A mother says Wichita police laughed at her when she asked about her teenage daughter, who was arrested at a skating rink on New Year’s Eve.
According to the Wichita Police Department (WPD), the 15-year-old girl became disruptive at Roller City, and management wanted off-duty officers working at the rink to escort her out of the building. Officers say she swung at them but missed, and then a 16-year-old boy also swung at officers.
A crowd gathered around them, and some people pulled out their smartphones and began recording video of the altercation between the two teens and the officers. KSN News has seen the video. It shows officers wrestling with the teens, punches being thrown, and ends with an officer spraying something at the boy’s face.
Both teens were taken into custody and transported to the Juvenile Intake and Assessment Center, often called JIAC.
On Tuesday morning, the girl’s mother spoke during the public comment portion of the Wichita City Council meeting.
“My other child and my grandchild that were there called me and said, ‘Momma, come quick. They’re beating her,'” the woman told council members.
“The police laughed when I showed up. I was on my way to work. I turned around. The police laughed.” she said.
“I was demanding that she be medically cleared before taken to JIAC. They refused,” she said. “I called JIAC. JIAC said she must be medically cleared. I told the officers, and they laughed, and they said, ‘Yeah, because of Lofton.'”
At this point in the mother’s comments, Mayor Brandon Whipple interrupted.
“I’m sorry. Did you say they laughed?” he asked.
“They laughed,” the mother said.
She said her daughter sat in a police car for hours in front of Roller City.
“They took her to JIAC four and a half hours later. I was called to say I could finally come and get my child.”
She said she has seen the video and spoken with the boy’s mother.
“Our children are in somewhat of a relationship,” she said.
She said she is also hearing from other people who were at the rink Saturday night.
“I got a phone call last night saying that an officer had her knee in my child’s neck. Another officer had their knee in my child’s back, and my child was pleading that she couldn’t breathe. Another adult there witnessed all of it,” the mother told council members. “The witness is scared, but she does want to give her account of the situation from the beginning.”
The mother said the incident started because the business denied a customer a refund. She said what happened next was ridiculous.
“My child is afraid. She doesn’t want to go outside. She doesn’t want to talk to anybody. She doesn’t want to be seen. She’s humiliated. These videos have been spread all over social media. They’re saying things about me and my parenting, Makala and her parenting, our children. Our children aren’t gang members or violent. They’re two little scrawny kids.”
“I, in good faith, sent my children to a public place on New Year’s Eve to have fun and enjoy themselves, and this was the outcome,” she said.
“We gotta do something to protect our kids,” she said at the end of her speech.
The mayor then asked the woman if her daughter had filed a report or been interviewed.
“We have chosen not to talk to anyone until today,” she answered, saying she was afraid.
“When I picked her up from JIAC, I didn’t even get any paperwork,” she said. “Do you know where I found out what my child is being charged with? On social media, from the news.”
The WPD says the girl was booked on suspicion of one count of assault, one count of battery of a law enforcement officer, and one ordinance violation for aggressive and harassing contact.
The boy was booked on suspicion of one count of battery of a law enforcement officer and two counts of obstruction.
Before the boy was taken to JIAC, the woman said she talked to him.
“I was standing there with them talking to the young man who calls me mom, telling him that I loved him and it was going to be OK and just remain calm and go to the hospital, and I have your mom on the phone.”
She said the police treated it as a joke.
“It’s not a joke. This child when you learn about my child, you will be appalled. I can’t speak on it publicly, but I would like to speak on it.”
“I don’t know what I can do to help change this,” she said. “I was born right here in Wichita 61 years ago. This is ridiculous. I was proud of this city. I was proud to say I’m from Wichita, Kansas, little podunk Wichita, Kansas. Today, I’m not.”
Mike Hoheisel, District 3 city council member, asked her if her daughter was ever given a medical checkup after the incident.
The mother said she was not.
Then Hoheisel asked City Manager Robert Layton if the Cedric Lofton Task Force wants JIAC to require medical checkups or mental health checkups.
Layton said he wanted to get more information before he could respond.