Wichita Police Chief Kevin Mears charged with battery and disorderly conduct for pushing a 17-year-old female volunteer referee
The incident occurred on January 12, 2018 and was caught on video then uploaded to social media
Mears was originally placed on paid leave until it was announced charges had been filed
The incident is one of many the WPD have made headlines over in the last few weeks
It is shocking to see a parent with worse sportsmanship than their child, especially when that parent happens to be a captain of a local police department. Unfortunately, bad calls and injuries are a part of sports, as are the enraged overreactions from parents.
On January 12, 2018, Wichita Police Department Captain Kevin Mears was caught on camera pushing a teenage girl who was acting as a volunteer referee for his son’s basketball game. The game was in Augusta for students in fifth and sixth grade.
Mears’ son was injured during the game, at which point he stormed the court and pushed the referee — who happened to be a 17-year-old girl — then walked his son off the court.
The video clip is short and hard to make out, but following outrage over the incident, the WPD did confirm that the incident occurred and released the following statement.
Wichita Police Department officials have been made aware of an incident during a basketball game in the City of Augusta that involves a department member. WPD will be reviewing the incident to determine if any department policies were violated. WPD officials do not have all the facts surrounding this incident at this time and cannot provide any further comment.
The incident caught heavy backlash in the wake of two police shootings, which added questions of Mears ability to make stable decisions while on duty. Mears was placed on paid administrative leave until Monday when it was announced that charges were filed against him. Augusta City Prosecutor Benjamin Winters announced that Mears had been charged with battery and disorderly conduct.
Due to a recent policy change, WPD officers charged with a crime no longer receive paid leave. Since charges have been filed, Mears was placed on administrative leave.
Video of Mears giving a tour of the Wichita Police Department East Station.
The last few weeks have not been easy one for the WPD. On December 28, an officer shot and killed 28-year-old Andrew Finch following a prank call. Just days later, an officer shot a 9-year-old girl in the face with shrapnel after he entered a home and fired shots at a miniature dog but missed.
While trigger happy officers were making national headlines, an FBI investigation into illegal gambling in Wichita has led to three law enforcement officers being indicted. Bruce Mackey and Michael Zajkowski both WPD officers are accused of using police resources to investigate a gambler they believed to be an undercover officer. Former Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Michael Frederiksen is accused of lying to the FBI.