WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Wichita NAACP, Wichita Police Department, and the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office have all released statements in the wake of the killing of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man who died in a hospital after video shows police beating him during a traffic stop.

Five Memphis police officers have been fired, and charged with second-degree murder, among other charges, in the case.

Wichita NAACP

The Wichita Chapter of the NAACP released the following statement before the video was publicly released:

A call to action for police reform, the Wichita Branch NAACP Wichita stands in solidarity with the family of Tyre Nichols, the Memphis community, and the National NAACP.  As we prepare our hearts and minds to process another senseless, traumatic police killing, these events have become all too familiar.  This situation demonstrates the power dynamic and barbaric underlying culture in policing.  The Wichita NAACP will continue to work with our local, state, and national government agencies and legislators to champion sweeping change in law enforcement. .

Wichita chapter of the NAACP

In addition, the following statement was given from the national chapter of the NAACP:

“Our country is once again bracing for the release of another traumatizing video of yet another police killing. If anyone needs to see this video, it’s every single leader in congress. Sit in your comfy leather chair, watch the video when it is released, and tell us what else you need to vote “yes” on police reform. By failing to write a piece of legislation, you’re writing another obituary. By failing to pass the legislation, you’re passing on your sworn duty to protect the people. We know just how much all of you will be thinking and praying.

Upon the release of the video, you don’t need to mention it. Instead, tell us what you’re going to do about it. Tell us what you’re going to do to honor Tyre Nichols. Tell us what you’re going to do to show his family, his loving son, and this entire nation, that his life was not lost in vain. We can name all the victims of police violence, but we can’t name a single law you have passed to address it.”


Wichita Police Department

KSN requested an interview with Wichita Police Chief Joe Sullivan. In response, the Wichita Police Department declined our request for an in-person interview at this time but posted a video statement to their social media accounts.

You can watch the video statement in the video player at the top of the page and/or read the transcript below:

Good evening. As you know, I am Joe Sullivan, Chief of Police for the Wichita Police Department. By now I’m sure many of you have seen the video out of Memphis that shows the horrific beating of Mr. Tyre Nichols. I have seen it as well. Like many of you, I am shocked and sickened by the actions of those officers and I want to extend my heartfelt condolences to the entire Nichols family.

I want to applaud Chief CJ Davis on her handling of this incident. I also want to ensure the citizens of Wichita that the Wichita Police Department stands by you in your anger, sadness, and frustration with this despicable act of violence committed by 5 human beings who disgraced the badge.

I wish I could say in 40 years of Policing that this is the first time I have seen this type of case, but sadly it’s not. What I can say, is that the Wichita Police Department is not just here for you, we are here with you. We do not support nor defend officers who act like they are above the law and use excessive and unnecessary force against those they swore to protect and serve.

We look forward to many great things we will do in this city in 2023. We look forward to continuing to set the standard for how the community and the police work together. Because the police are the community. We are a community first.

I want to thank you for welcoming me into your community as your Police Chief. I look forward to continuing to lead the great people of the Wichita Police Department.

Thank you.

Wichita Police Chief Joe Sullivan

Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office

The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office, who also declined our request for an interview at this time, released a statement as well:

The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office has been made aware of the upcoming release of body camera video involving five Memphis Police Officers utilizing unjustified force during the arrest of Tyre Nichols on January 7th, 2022.

The Sheriff’s Office is appalled by the atrocity that occurred to Tyre Nichols at the hands of the former Memphis Officers. This is an incredible violation of public trust and this office condemns their actions. The former Memphis Officers have tarnished the badge and betrayed their oath. It is the mission of the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office to partner with the citizens of Sedgwick County providing effective public service to all in an impartial, ethical and professional manner. We continue to uphold these standards in trying times and fully support the prosecution of the former Memphis Officers

Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office