Thursday, November 15, 2007

Important Nov. 20th Racial Profiling City Council Mtg. @ 9AM

The struggle to end racial profiling in Wichita continues. Even with the passage of SB 77 into law in 2005, the WPD still denies that racial profiling is practiced by their officers and department leaders.

However three studies since 2001 show that Blacks are 2xs more likely to be stopped by WPD than any other race. This means 8,000 more stops of Black drivers and pedestrians each year. The disproportionate amount of fines collected from Blacks by the Wichita City Municipal Court is approximately $2 million per year. This does not count the additional amount collected by the County from stops made by Sheriff Deputies.

As part of the new Racial Profiling law, each 1st Class City in Kansas is to have an Independent Citizens Advisory Board to work with the police department on training, policy changes and outreach to stop this egregious practice. However, in two years, Chief Williams has yet to meet with the Racial Profiling Citizens Advisory Board. City Manager Kolb claims that since none of the 100 racial profiling complaints have been sustained by their internal WPD Professional Standards, that there is no problem.

Therefore, our Board has voted to go directly to the Wichita City Council with specific recommendations to change officer behavior and WPD leadership assumptions through training and policy improvements. This important meeting will be held on November 20th at 9am next Tuesday.

Pastors and Church Lay-leaders, we ask that you please announce this very important meeting this coming Sunday so your parishioners will be able to come and support our efforts. Also, please insert copies of the attached editorial entitled “Why We Must Stop Racial Profiling” inside your Church bulletin. It was recently published in the Wichita Eagle and summarizes the many consequences of this discrimination on Black families and the Wichita community.

Thanks to your efforts, the Townhall meeting held in September had over 200 people come to share their deep concerns about how racial profiling and excessive use of force is impacting Black and Hispanic families.

Please come this Tuesday to the City Council meeting in City Hall and bring your congregation and friends with you. We need a strong showing of support to let the Council know that racial profiling can no longer be tolerated in Wichita, Kansas.

Please join us on November 20th @ 9am @ City Hall in the City Council Chambers. By standing together, our voices will be heard.

Have a GREAT DAY!!

Walt Chappell, Ph.D.
ChairmanWPD-Racial Profiling Citizens Advisory Board
Wichita Branch NAACP Political Action Committee
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