Wichita police have almost a dozen people in custody after protest events that happened Tuesday evening.
Police chief Gordon Ramsay said seven people were arrested during a protest at 21st and Maize Road. He said five were arrested for unlawful assembly and two were arrested on other charges. Chief Ramsay said the protest started peacefully and the escalated with a confrontation between a protester and a counter-protester. Water bottles were thrown at Sedgwick County deputies who tried to break up the disturbance.
Chief Ramsay said business had concerns about the crowds and the possibility of looting, and they wanted people moved out of the area. He said most people left peacefully but many of them went to 21st and Arkansas. That was the scene of a disturbance late Monday night when shots were fired. Chief Ramsay said rocks and debris were thrown at officers Tuesday night, and a patrol car windshield was smashed. A QuikTrip store was looted and officers used tear gas to move crowds out of the area.
Chief Ramsay said officers later took four people into custody for the looting incident. Two adults and two juveniles were booked into jail.
There were other incidents of vandalism, including damage to businesses in the area of K-96 and Greenwich Road, but Chief Ramsay said no other cases of looting were reported in the city.
Chief Ramsay said he talked with residents of the 21st and Arkansas area who said they are fed up with the recent violence. He said what started as a well-intended protest was hijacked by people with other intentions, and he thinks it will have a significant negative impact on the community.