Wichita County, Kansas police chief Gordon Ramsay may share a name with the famous chef known for his loud tirades, but he, instead, has remained silent on concerns regarding police brutality in his department.
AP reports documents in a recent civil suit against Wichita police show Ramsay acknowledging his belief that the investigation following the killing may have been biased and unfair. He said he addressed his concerns by moving the officers accused in the case to other positions.
The main incident in question involves the 2015 shooting of John Paul Quintero after officers responded to a fight at a family member’s home. One of the officers, Jamie Thompson, shot and killed Quintero with an assault rifle after he had already been hit with stun gun shocks. Quintero was unarmed, but police claimed he failed to follow orders.
The court document recounts Ramsay’s deposition, in which he acknowledged the investigation following the incident could have been biased because an investigator asked him a leading question. He admitted he did not know why Thompson used the assault rifle and said he talked to his cops about when it was appropriate to use rifles. However, he admitted he never changed the department’s written policy following the killing.
Another assault rifle killing happened in 2017 when two online gamers got into a dispute and one of them made a hoax call to the police to the other’s former address. The current resident of the home, Andrew Finch, opened his door to see what was happening outside. A police sniper shot and killed him with a rifle. In court, Ramsay also acknowledged that some of the officers who worked on internal reviews of cases like these were also involved in the criminal suits, possibly contaminating the results.
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He also confessed that his department had issues with the use of force, among other problems.
Ramsay released a response to AP’s damning findings, saying:
A recent Associated Press article speaks about removing high-ranking officers and detectives regarding probes of police shootings. Please remember the deposition referenced is only an excerpt of a larger deposition. The department members involved are good officers and good employees, striving to reach the goals of the WPD. They committed no legal or WPD internal violations. The employees moved to different positions based on their strengths and where they could best serve the department. The change was made to foster better community relations and to add transparency. Taking a snippet from a deposition that lasted hours and drawing conclusions does not give full context and unnecessarily hurts the good name of our investigators.
However, incriminating evidence does not end there. In 2013, the names of 30 Wichita County officers ended up on a list of police who committed crimes or violations involving dishonesty, The Root reports. The Wichita Eagle also reported in 2017 that the Wichita Police Department was accused of covering up a drunk driving incident involving one of its officers. In 2018, Wichita police were indicted in an illegal gambling case.
Moving officers around to “different positions based on their strengths and where they could best serve the department” has evidently not solved the department’s problems with excessive force and misconduct.