Friday Night Protests Continue, Location Changed for Oct. 23

Brynn Laurel

10/23/2020- Kansas City, Missouri

The People's City Black Lives Matter Memorial in front of KCMO City Hall

Photo by Andrei Stoica

The Friday Night Protest, generally held at Kansas City, Missouri Police Headquarters, will be held tonight at the Black Lives Matter memorial outside KCMO City Hall 6 p.m. The memorial has been erected as part of the “People’s City,” the on-going occupation that is demanding the removal of Police Chief Rick Smith, Officer Blayne Newton, and 50% divestment from KCPD and reinvestment into life-affirming institutions in Kansas City.

The weekly protest, organized by Steve Young and Winifred Jamieson, primarily aims to hold space for Black lives taken by police brutality in Kansas City. The protests are also calling for accountability and transparency in KCPD as well as the removal of Smith and Newton.

“It’s time to speak truth to power,” Young said at the protest last Friday, Oct. 16. He spoke of Donnie Sanders, “M.R.,” and other victims of police brutality. Smith, he said, continues to cover up police misconduct, leading to the story of M.R., a 15-year-old Black teenager who told VICE News that his teeth were knocked out by a KCPD officer, not becoming public until a year after the incident.

“That is the kind of shit that Chief Smith does,” Young explained. “This whole system has to come down.”

Last week, the group met at KCPD Headquarters, marched down to the Jackson County Detention Center, and then circled back to KCPD Headquarters before caravaning to the occupation at 35th and Prospect. That occupation, headed by Troy Robertson, issued their own set of demands last week.

Published on: 10/23/2020