Activists call police chief retirement a 'victory,' hope for new review board

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WICHITA -- After the announcement of Police Chief Norman Williams retiring, some say it could be a positive step for Wichita.

"Today is a victory," said Jennifer Winn, former candidate for governor. "We have won. Our voices have actually been heard."

Williams has faced criticism in recent months, especially with a few officer-involved shootings this year. In July, a man was killed after he charged at officers with a knife in east Wichita. The 26-year-old was tasered by officers, and when they could not subdue him, they shot him.

In April, a man was shot and killed after a police chase.

"Five shootings in one year, three of which are extremely suspicious," said Mike Schatz, editor of blog Kansas Exposed. "And where you've got a district attorney that's just rubberstamping every investigation that they've put out."

"Chief Williams, in my opinion, had a very serious problem holding his officers under his administrations accountable and that is unacceptable," Winn echoed.

To help ease their concerns, some would like to see a citizen's review board to work along with the Police Department. They hope a new police chief will help make the idea become a reality.

"I'm actually on the racial profiling board, so I feel that it is important to give that body additional powers in terms of policymaking," said Djuan Wash with Sunflower Community Action. "As it is right now, the power in that body is limited and they are the ones that represent the community."

KAKE News' Deb Farris asked Williams about the allegations, but he declined to comment.

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