What follows is a list of the ten most corrupt officers in the Wichita Police Department, compiled by the producers of WPD: The Documentary, an upcoming film that will detail years of misconduct and cover-ups by the department’s top brass. There is a good chance that an officer who has wronged you, along with many others, is not on this list. Contrary to what some may believe, we, the producers, are not all seeing and all knowing, so please, feel free to send us messages via Facebook if your officer was not highlighted here.
10.) Officer James Wright
Officer Wright is well-known for roughing up homeless people in Wichita and, most notably, a 61 year old woman, in front of multiple witnesses. Here is a photo of Wright, who is nearly seven feet tall, slamming Doris, 61.
9.) Officer Robert Thatcher
Officer Thatcher can usually be found in Old Town, violently apprehending people, so long as they are not white. Multiple members of the Wichita Cop Watch witnessed Thatcher completely ignore a fight outside the Pumphouse, a bar in Old Town, that took place between several white males, where blood was drawn. When confronted, Thatcher claimed officers could not respond in any way, because they were “outnumbered”. However, Thatcher is quite well-known for violently arresting minorities for “loitering”. To make matters worse, Thatcher trains other officers:
(There is a good chance the WPD will remove this video. If they do, we have a copy.)
8.) Detective Todd Ojile
Detective Ojile works gang homicides, which seems like an honorable profession until you understand that Ojile manipulates witnesses, lies to judges, and knowingly charges people with felony murder just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Ojile is the lead detective working the case against Christopher Cooper, a young man charged with felony murder. Cooper is a college student with no criminal record and no gang history who attended the wrong party in a middle class neighborhood. Cooper agreed to speak with Ojile, believing that because he had done nothing wrong, that it would be safe to do so. Because the shooting occurred in a middle class neighborhood, the department was under pressure to make an arrest, and now Costello is on trial for his life.
7.) Detective Robert Chisholm
Also a homicide detective, Chisholm engages in illegal interrogation tactics, including the questioning of Kyler Carriker while Carriker was pumped full of Dilaudid by doctors, after being shot. Dilaudid is a powerful pain medication that directly affects the brain’s ability to function.
Chisholm asked all of the other people involved in the case if they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol before he questioned them (a suspect cannot consent to be interrogated without a lawyer present if they are under the influence). According to his own police reports, Chisholm did not ask Carriker, because he already knew the answer. Carriker is currently facing trial for felony murder, a crime he was not involved in.
6.) Supervisor Jeff Davis
Sgt. Davis, a supervisor at the North Precinct, is on this list, not for his activities as a police officer, but rather for his activities as a former member of the Wichita School Board.
Davis, along with other school board members, voted to close schools in low-income neighborhoods and to open new schools in undeveloped areas, not because this move would be good for low-income students who will now be bussed to wealthy areas, but because land developers, construction companies, and an architectural firm stood to make a lot of money, all while our schools have no money for basic supplies. During a school board meeting where parents were protesting these measures, Davis brandished his firearm and abused his authority in instructing officers to remove those parents from the proceedings.
5.) Lt. James Espinoza
Lt. Espinoza is also a supervisor at the North Precinct and is responsible for overlooking the great many crimes perpetrated by the unit known as “The Dirty Boys”, a group of young officers who report directly to Detective Robert Bachmann, who is often referred to as “Dirty Harry”, or simply, “Dirty”. Dirty is not on this list due to a lack of evidence of his wrongdoings, which have become something of an urban legend on the North Side.
Lt . Espinoza is known for using his large size and icy demeanor to intimidate those who might seek to file complaints against officers.
4.) Detective Christian Corey
Detective Corey can be seen on video, pummeling a young man sitting in an SUV. The young man reportedly cut Corey off in traffic. Corey recently dodged a lawsuit filed in federal court for a separate case in which he beat woman, Rowana Riggs, severely.
Corey remains on the force, despite the clear video evidence against him.
3.) Officer Atlee Vogt
Officer Vogt was reportedly speeding down South Broadway without his sirens on (while we see officers do this everyday, it is actually illegal) when his police cruiser struck and killed a 12 year old girl. Vogt refused to cooperate with the investigation, a fact that the Kansas Highway Patrol, which investigates all officer-related vehicle accidents, attempted to conceal. It was only when Kansas Exposed, operating under the name Occupy 316, revealed secret documents, that the public became aware of this.
It was not until several months later that investigative reporting revealed that Vogt, who is still a Wichita police officer, was involved in two other traffic accidents while on duty.
2.) Sgt. Larry Carlson
Sgt. Carlson is in charge of a special unit of the department which can be rented out to private businesses, as off-duty security. This unit of officers, best known for the Doc Howards’ tear gas incident, in which over 1,000 innocent people were tear gassed, causing a chaotic stampede, all caught on video, uses coercion and intimidation to run what is essentially a racketeering operation.
Carlson’s unit, which is essentially a goon squad, charges $30.00 per hour, per officer.
1.) Chief Norman Williams
Wichita Police Chief Norman Williams is number one on this list, because he knows everything we have told you here, and more, and yet every single one of the officers listed above remains employed by the department. As you can see by their rank, most of the officers have been promoted, in some cases, multiple times.
Chief Williams has defended every officer-involved shooting, despite mountains of aggravating evidence. Williams’ flat out refusal to address the problems within his department will tarnish his reputation, and that of the department, for many years to come.