Kansas City police face sweeping changes to transparency, a review of force used in protests ordered

KMBZ News Staff
June 05, 2020 - 9:41 am
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas addresses demonstrators with a bullhornon May 31, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. during protests at the Country Club Plaza

Jamie Squire / Getty

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Kansas City, MO - Sweeping changes announced for the Kansas City Police Department following days of protests, and spurred by the actions of police officers against people protesting in the streets. 

KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas says the changes are all about accountability.

Lucas announced the changes after a Thursday meeting of the Board of Commissioners, the state-appointed governing body that oversees the KC police department.  As mayor, Lucas sits on that board. 

Rick Smith will stay on as chief of KCPD, said Lucas, and has been ordered to conduct a review of the use of tear gas and other projectiles by his officers during the protests at the Country Club Plaza.

Lucas also announced a series of sweeping changes into how KCPD investigates itself, including creating whistleblower protections within the department and creating a process where outside agencies will investigate use of force complaints and officer-involved shootings.

The KCPD chief also has to prepare a weekly report for the public. 

Earlier in the week it was announced that all KCPD officers would be outfitted with body cams.  Images from those devices will now be offered upon request to prosecuting agencies.

In a related note, Lucas said he is signing a pardon order for Roderick Reed, the man who was cited for failing to obey a lawful order by KCPD when he videotaped police in a violent encounter as they tried to arrest Breona Hill in 2019.

Those two officers have recently been indicted by a grand jury for 4th degree assault.

Lucas said he is also considering pardons on nonviolent offenses – such as stepping off the sidewalk and not complying with a police order – related to the protests.


 

 


 

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