Frustration over vandalism to Dockum sit-in memorial not being reported


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A historic sit-in site in Wichita has been vandalized. It happened to the Dockum sit-in statue in downtown Wichita.

However, some people are concerned that it’s been at least five months before anyone reported the damage.

Wichita Vice-Mayor Lavonta Williams says the memorial has a special place in her heart and the hearts of many in Wichita.

The memorial commemorates the 1958 student-led sit-in to end segregation.

Seeing a piece of Wichita’s history defaced has left Williams upset.

“To see that and those monuments vandalized is very disheartening and it’s very discouraging,” said Williams.

Williams says she also wonders why nobody notified the city of the vandalism sooner.

“Another fact that really bothered me is that we weren’t notified, I would have loved to have known the minute someone saw this so that we could have addressed it,” said Williams.

John D’Angelo, the Arts and Cultural Services Director for the city of Wichita, says his office was also never notified.

D’Angelo says he first got wind of the vandalism on Thursday. He heard that it had been there since at least July.

“The important thing for the community at large to understand is we rely on the community to help us police all of our art, if they see somebody, they should call 911 and report it immediately, so that WPD can respond to it,” said D’Angelo.

So KSN asked what’s next?

D’Angelo says they will do an evaluation with park staff.

He says this is in order to make sure this kind of vandalism doesn’t happen again.

“Like lighting, could we light it, what sort of expense would be involved in that, security cameras are always an option that we look at,” said D’Angelo.

Both D’Angelo and Williams urge people if they see any vandalism, like this, to not be afraid to report it.

You can call the city office at 316-268-4331.