Protesters filled the Wichita Police Department’s North Substation Friday afternoon, to deliver this letter:
“Captain Brian White
Dear Captain White:
We are all heartbroken by the loss of life in our community, and in communities across America. The killing of Michael Brown and Eric Garner has surfaced the pain that is felt when lives are ended in tragedy as a result of police altercations. This pain can lead to rage unless we come together to acknowledge the loss, and move towards healing as a community.
Sadly, we know that this pain is felt in right here in Wichita. On July 4th, 2014, officers in Wichita responded to a call from a family seeking help for their relative who was having a mental health emergency. The family needed assistance in transporting their loved one, Icarus Randolph, a black Iraq war veteran who suffered from post traumatic stress disorder resulting from his service, to a mental health facility that was preparing a bed for him. Instead, the officers shot and killed Icarus in front of his entire family, including children.This family was seeking help out of love for Icarus. Instead, their loved one was gunned down by police. The wound inflicted on their hearts will never fully heal.
While the investigation is still open, the family has confirmed that the officer responsible for the shooting has returned to work. This officer has been dispatched to the home of Mr. Randolph’s sister, which has caused additional stress and heartache for his family.
On July 10, 2012, Karen Jackson, another person with a history of mental illness was killed by the Wichita Police Department who were responding to a call from concerned family about the well being of their mentally ill family member. The Wichita Police Department responded with officers who lacked proper training and knowledge in deescalating such a sensitive situation and killed Ms. Jackson in front of her family.
Once again, a family in need reached out to the police. Instead, they experienced a nightmare that they will never wake up from.
Across America, our pain is pouring into the street. Today we come to you in hope that you will hear our cry. We share this neighborhood. We share this community. We are extending our hand to work together to prevent unnecessary deaths in Wichita.
Our request is to work with you towards progress. Cpt. White, we want you to collaborate with the Racial Profiling Task Force in developing a crisis intervention and cultural competency training for your officers. Please contact Racial Profiling Task Force Chair by Friday, 12/12 to begin a dialogue on the creation and execution of such a training.