Deputy Kevin Easter’s life, death compelled others

01/14/2012 5:00 AM

08/08/2014 10:08 AM

Capt. John Speer pulled an old cassette tape out of his desk drawer at the Wichita Police Department and popped it into an old recorder. He hit play.

On the 911 tape, Speer could hear Kevin Easter tell the 911 dispatcher that he’s chasing a reported stolen car.

Kevin, a Sedgwick County sheriff’s deputy, is calling out locations as he chases the car, a Honda. He’d started chasing the car near South Hillside, and he calls out that they were now near Range and Southfork.

On the tape, Kevin’s voice sounds calm. The 911 dispatcher sounds more nervous, especially as the tape continues. “Where are you at?” she calls out. “Where are you at?”

Kevin does not answer.

Speer, a friend of the Easter family, pops the tape out of the audio player. He can’t listen anymore. He balls up both fists, and rubs them into his eyes.

Kevin was shot to death 16 years ago this month by a gang member who stole that car. Kevin was only 24, newly married. He was the son of a longtime Wichita police officer, and the brother of another, Jeff Easter, who until now has never told the full story of his brother’s death, or what Jeff and John Speer and other officers did afterward.

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