Wichita man working to get off city's gang list

Published: Jul. 27, 2016 at 11:41 PM CDT
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During a community barbecue, a Wichita man asked Police Chief Gordon Ramsay for help getting off the city's gang list.

The man said he's already met with Chief Ramsay. The man said the community event is working.

"There were some good things to come out of it, and I can attest for that," said Desmond Bryant, who is on Wichita Police's gang member list.

Bryant was sitting at his dining room table when Eyewitness News interviewed him. He was writing down ideas after attending the "First Step Cookout."

"My purpose in being at the cookout that day was for the question-and-answer session; I wanted to know what the chief could do to help people like me in this position.

"He said to me, and excuse my french, 'damn right, you got my word.' I was sincere when I asked him that, and I feel like he was sincere when he told me that. So, yes, I think the community event is working," Bryant said.

Bryant is 27 years old, and said he's never been in a gang, but he admits to hanging out with the wrong crowd when he was younger.

"I'm not perfect, I've done some wrong things, you know, however you should not be labeled on who you were in the past, and you should not be if we're trying to move forward," he said.

In his meeting with Wichita Police, Bryant learned his name will soon come off that list.

"The lieutenant actually told me I get off September 22 of this year," Bryant said.

Bryant, however, isn't completely off the list. Wichita Police said Bryant's name will go on what's called an "inactive" gang member list. Officers said a person's name and information is kept on file to assist in future investigations.

"Honestly, I too much don't care what somebody can think of me, because I'm going to present myself in a professional manner where you have no choice but to respect me," he said.

At the top of his solutions he wants to present to the chief, Bryant said he wants to reach younger generations, before they are put on that list.

"When we're younger, we over look that. We" Bryant said. "We see things on TV and it looks cool, however, by doing those things, you plant seeds that's going to hurt your future."

Currently, there are 1,941 people Wichita Police consider active gang members. There are another 2,572 inactive gang members.

Wichita Police said if someone wants to know if they are on either list, they can call the gang unit at 316-268-4191.