The criminal trial of a Wichita police captain who pushed a 17-year-old basketball referee during a youth game in Augusta last January ended with a conviction. So should the question of whether Kevin Mears should remain on the police force.
Yes, get him back to work.
Mears has been on unpaid leave from the department since the incident, when he shoved the female referee aside on the way to tend to his injured son. He accompanied his son off the court and was later charged with battery and disorderly conduct.
Police department policy gives Chief Gordon Ramsay the authority to decide Mears’ future in the department. The viral video showed Mears pushed the referee once, but he did not strike her. It was an obvious, momentary lapse of judgment that cost him a criminal conviction.
It should not, however, cost him his job. A suitable penalty is the embarrassment of a misdemeanor arrest and conviction, and anger management training to make sure there’s no repeat of the incident.