Does the Fed Investigation Into KCPD Mean Anything for Black People or the Broader Community?

The U.S. Department of Justice has launched a civil rights investigation into the Kansas City Police Department citing racial discrimination. But the investigation only looks into discrimination against officers, and not the murders, lies and coverups KCPD has inflicted against the community.

KANSAS CITY, MO – The U.S. Department of Justice has launched a civil rights investigation into the Kansas City Police Department to determine if their employment practices are guilty of racial discrimination.

A letter by assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said it has information which suggests KCPD is “engaged in certain employment practices that discriminate against Black officers and applicants, including those that have a disparate impact based on race, in entry level hiring, promotions and assignments to Detective, in imposing discipline, and by maintaining a hostile work environment.”

The investigation will be led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri and the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ.

While some view the investigation as a step forward, many community members argue that it is nearly insulting that the Department of Justice is implying there is any further investigation needed to determine the KCPD is fascist, racist and a criminal terrorist organization at its core. Further, the investigation only looks into racism against its own officers, and not the vicious violence the department itself has a long and documented history of inflicting against the community.

The fact the DOJ is only looking at the racism and harm within the department itself, rather than its impact on the broader community, is another smack in the face to the people who have for decades decried the department’s brutality, unarmed murders, coverups and lies.

Gwen Grant, President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City, told The Defender in a statement “I was absolutely delighted to hear the news. This is something we have been working on for a long time. Especially for this to come right after Roger Golubski, this is a major step forward. However, this investigation currently has a small scope. My hope is that this will expand to include patterns and practices of excessive and deadly force. I want them to do more. I’m hoping this will lead to a deeper dive. When they look at patterns, practices and employment it will clearly lead to them discovering other issues within the department, it’ll open Pandora’s box.”

The Defender has long argued that the Kansas City and the KCK Police Departments do not need any further investigation for it to be common knowledge that they are both white supremacist at their core, and also violently misogynistic. 

KCPD has a documented history of lies and deceit as recently as the landmark Cameron Lamb case in 2021, where the court ruling confirmed the prosecutor’s claim that KCPD planted evidence to justify the murder of unarmed 26-year old Black man Cameron Lamb. During the trial, then-Chief of Police, Rick Smith, said that everyone of his officers in the department would have acted the way his officers on the scene did that day. 

Terrance Bridges was murdered by KCPD because he was described as being armed. In reality, he too, was unarmed. The cop who killed him returned to active duty 9 days later. 6 months after returning he assaulted a 15 year old.

Malcolm Johnson was murdered in March 2021. He was framed as having been armed and engaged in a shootout with the police. This lie was written into the official police record and published by every news outlet across the city. Only months later when video surveillance footage leaked, did the public find out that one cop accidentally shot another cop then murdered Johnson. If we had believed the police narrative without a video leak the truth would’ve never revealed. No one on KCPD was ever held accountable for this murder, cover up, and mass lie to the public. 

This is a developing story.

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