Wichita pastor, former WPD officer offers insight into Tyre Nichols footage

Pastor Kevass Harding, a former Wichita police officer, reacts to footage of the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols and offers insight into the police response.
Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 9:45 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Wichita pastor Kevass Harding, a community leader and former officer with the Wichita Police Department, said it’s difficult to wrap his mind around the footage from Memphis that shows five police officers fatally beating Tyre Nichols. What stands out to him, he said, is what appeared to be a complete lack of training among the officers involved. As a former officer, Rev. Harding said he can’t understand why the arrest appeared so chaotic and violent.

“My initial reaction when I saw the video was, ‘horrifying,’” Harding said.

He also said communities are seeing something else out of this case.

“I saw from the [Memphis] police chief signs of reform from the form the George Floyd incident in Minnesota, to have the chief and DA come together and say they are fired and arrested and will be charged,” Harding said.

With reform happening, Harding, lead pastor of Dellrose United Methodist Church, said he wants to commend all of the officers out there he considers great, but points out that with work to do, it’s necessary to identify the bad ones.

“When I say ‘reform,’ I’m not saying defund the police. You tell me a community that says they don’t need the police, they are not being honest with themselves,” Harding said.