WPD, FOP address whether officer violated body camera policy during heated incident with Wichita mayor
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - This body camera video that shows a confrontation between Mayor Brandon Whipple and a Wichita Police Officer has a lot of people talking.
Whipple argues it all started because the officer screamed at him and was rude, saying he conveniently didn't start recording until after that, and changed his tone.
So, it begs the question – what is WPD's policy on when to record, and did the officer violate it?
"This is different than like if you go to a criminal offense. This is, he's just trying to get the attention and, then trying to get them out of the parking lot," said Fraternal Order of Police President David Inkelaar.
In the department's body cam policy, you see on page 3 that it says "sound judgment and discretion" will determine when an officer activates the camera, but that "every effort" should be made to record when making contact with a citizen in most cases.
Inkelaar says it looks like the officer had no intention of making contact with the mayor at first, putting him in line with the policy.
"He's just trying to get their attention. He's not trying to have any negative contact with them. He's just trying to get their attention to tell them that they need to go back out. As soon as the officer makes the contact, which he'll find is the mayor, that's when he activates his body cam," said Inkelaar.
And the Wichita Police Department agrees in a statement Thursday, saying:
"The Wichita Police Department (WPD) is aware of an incident that occurred on September 24th, 2022, in the 3800 block of S. Meridian, involving Mayor Brandon Whipple and one of our officers.
Executive staff have reviewed the Axon Body Camera footage and agree with former Chief Moore's assessment that the officer acted in accordance with WPD Policy and Regulations.
At this time, there will be no internal investigation regarding our officer's actions."