The Wichita officer who sent racist, photoshopped photos of George Floyd has resigned

The Wichita officer who sent racist, photoshopped photos of George Floyd has resigned

Two Wichita police officers who sent a text message of a photoshopped image of a naked black man sitting on George Floyd’s head have left the department.

Daniel Watson’s last day was December 30. Sgt. Jamie Crouch had his last day on Thursday. Both resigned: Watson after being hired in January 2004 and Crouch after starting in January 1996.

No one could be reached for comment.

Watson, who is black, sent the photo to Crouch. The white officer then passed it on to other officers. The photoshopped image was sent shortly after Floyd was killed by Minneapolis officers and sparked protests over police brutality worldwide and in Wichita.

Watson’s involvement was discovered when the city reopened its investigation into the text message scandal after public outcry following a March 2022 story in the Eagle. Details given in some messages and light discipline. The case involves 13 Wichita officers who sent racist, homophobic or extremist messages.

The only officer initially fired was former Chief Gordon Ramsay, who called him a tool.

Crouch was basically given a written reprimand. All other officers were given non-disciplinary education and coaching and mentoring. After the city reopened the case, City Manager Robert Layton gave three officers (Watson, Crouch and Chad Spain) 15-day suspensions and two other officers with written reprimands and sensitivity training.

In the text messages, Spain identified the anti-government militia group “Three Percenters” as being involved in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol. The two officers who were reprimanded were in a text thread in which SWAT team members talked about killing civilians and being the “ultimate de-escalator.”

The Wichita Fraternal Order of Police, which has not publicly condemned the text messages, filed a complaint to overturn Layton’s discipline. No decision has been made by an arbitrator in those cases, Layton said.

In April 2021, Wichita police discovered some of the messages while investigating Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office deputies involved in a domestic violence case. The original messages received involved three Sheriff’s Office deputies and a dozen Wichita officers. All of them served in the elite SWAT team.

None of the deputies now work for the sheriff’s office.

When the city reopened the case, they discovered inappropriate messages sent by Watson and others Two Wichita firefighters who also served on the SWAT team.

A committee report blamed Ramsey and Deputy Chiefs Chester Pinkston and Jose Salcido for lax discipline and botched investigations. Police leaders did not Exposing annoying text messages to the prosecutors. Federal law requires proof of police bias against anyone charged or convicted of a crime.

Ramsey, Pinkston, Salcido and former Deputy Chief Wanda Givens allege corruption in the city and fired back saying they would sue Layton if not. resigned and they received 2.5 million dollars.

It was announced last month that Pinkston would be leaving the department Take over as chief in Liberal, Kansas. The job pays less and Pinkston will oversee far fewer officers. He started on February 20.

A Jensen Hughes report Expected later this month The department and its top leaders may also be critical of the issues. The report is expected to serve as a road map of issues to tackle for new Police Chief Joseph Sullivan, who takes over in late November.

Jensen Hughes is one of the top law enforcement consulting firms in the country. They were hired by the city in response to problems within the department that The Eagle exposed in its story about text messages.

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