Muslim civil rights group says department must commit to ‘concrete action and change’
(KANSAS CITY, 3/21/2022) – The Kansas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Kansas) today called for the dismissal of several Wichita police officers who reportedly sent racist, violent messages mocking George Floyd and glorifying police shootings.
The messages were allegedly sent between a small group of Wichita-area law enforcement officers in a private chat. One message sent by a Wichita police officer included an image mocking the killing of George Floyd. Another message sent by a Sedgwick Co. sheriff’s deputy included an image of Elmer Fudd with a caption that read “be very very quiet I’m hunting (racial slur).” A message from another deputy praised SWAT team members who “permanently deescalated people who needed permanent de-escalation.”
The officer who sent the message mocking George Floyd, the deputy who sent the message about de-escalation, and several officers and deputies who responded positively to that message have been involved in shootings or killings of civilians.
Three sheriff’s deputies who sent racist messages have been fired. The Wichita officer who sent the Floyd image was disciplined under a bad judgment policy but remains on the force. The officers who responded positively to the de-escalation message were given mentoring and coaching, and one resigned of his own volition.
SEE: Leaked messages: Wichita-area officers sent racist memes, talked about shooting people
In a statement, CAIR-Kansas Board Chair Moussa Elbayoumy said:
“The messages reportedly sent by these Wichita officers are appalling and completely beyond the pale of acceptability for people tasked with protecting and serving diverse communities. The fact that some of these individuals were allegedly involved in shootings and killings of citizens makes this case all the more alarming.
“These officers must be dismissed and an investigation into their past conduct, including their involvement in shootings, must be launched. It’s time for the department to commit to concrete action and change.”
He said the American Muslim community and CAIR stand in solidarity with all those challenging anti-Asian and anti-Black racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, white supremacy, and all other forms of bigotry.
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CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.