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Crime and Courts

No Charges In Alleged Racist Incident At Wichita State

Jimmy Wayne, flickr Creative Commons

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett has determined there isn’t sufficient evidence to file criminal charges in an incident that happened on Wichita State University’s campus earlier this month.

University police responded to an altercation following the Student Government Association’s dinner on May 4. Outgoing SGA president Joseph Shepard says he was confronted by the parents of the incoming president after he gave his final speech. Shepard told the police that a racial slur had been used during the incident.

The DA’s office was looking into the incident as possible disorderly conduct, assault and battery, all misdemeanors. Bennett said in a letter to university Police Chief Sara Morris Wednesday that there wasn’t enough evidence to support those possible charges.

Read DA Marc Bennett's letter.

Bennett says the accounts of bystanders within earshot of the incident were not consistent.

"Given the available accounts, insufficient evidence exists to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the alleged statement was made and made with requisite criminal intent," he writes in the letter.

WSU launched its own inquiry separate from the criminal investigation. President John Bardo appointed three university leaders to look into the allegations of racially discriminatory behavior.


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