ItsTime4Justice Demands Accountability from Kansas City Missouri BOPC
9/29/2020- Kansas City, Missouri
Sheryl Ferguson, founder of ItsTime4Justice speaking at the March on Kansas City.
Photo by Andrei Stoica
The Kansas City, Missouri Board of Police Commissioners (BOPC) held its regular meeting on Tuesday, September 29 beginning at 9:30 a.m.
A coalition of protestors spoke in solidarity with ItsTime4Justice during the public comment section, and the group followed up with an email to the Board of Police Commissioners that listed their concerns and demands. The letter requested that the board “reply in kind.” The letter is printed below in its entirety, with the permission of ItsTime4Justice.
The next BOPC meeting will be held Tuesday, October 27, at 9:30 a.m. at the KCPD Headquarters Community Room, 1125 Locust St.
“Given the current climate and months of protests by citizens in Kansas City, why have we yet to put together a community task force to make recommendations to the BOPC of ways to improve policing in the most active parts of the city?
Of the $6.9 MILLION that KCPD received in BONUS taxpayer money in this past budget, why did only $300k go to an increase in police officers? With only $10k of the increase going towards social services coordinators or social workers, while $500k went to additional car & equipment money that was previously removed? Also, weren’t there a significant number of retirements over the past 2 years which would have freed up additional vehicles and equipment?
The KCPD was awarded $255 million this budget, which was well above what Governor Parsons (a former law enforcement personnel) suggested. Why are we not seeing results despite the department being flooded with taxpayer money, when Minneapolis, which is a similar size and demographic, spends $100 million less than us, and only had 48 homicides in 2019!?
Given that over 15% of taxpayer money from the budget every year goes to the KCPD ($520 per citizen which is one of the highest in the country), and yet we have more murders than the entire state of Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Maine, and city of New York City with 8.5million people, and a 24% prosecution rate, has an external audit ever been done to see where exactly that Quarter of a billion dollars goes every year?
Why hasn’t the Board of Police Commissioners not reprimanded Chief Smith for decommissioning the OCC and Internal Affairs recommendations for the discipline of several officers who have demonstrated patterns of abuse of power and physical harm to innocent citizens? Several such cases have resulted in lawsuits that the city taxpayers will likely have to pay, do you as commissioners think that is fair? Are you doing enough oversight? Do you know how many substantiated lawsuits the KCPD has had against it under Chief Smith’s tenure? I will give you a clue….they have skyrocketed!
KCPD has failed to staff a cold case squad, which is significant because on average, almost 60% of the murders go uncleared. It stood at 12 members at the beginning of the year, out of 1500 officers. Three years in, KCPD only assigned TWELVE assault detectives, and officers on overnight squads, to investigate, despite a record-setting murder rate and $248m in taxpayer funding!!! Is this good decision making, considering cold cases often turn into new crimes of revenge? Do you expect citizens to trust that the KCPD really cares about crime versus paying an overblown middle management taxpayer dollars? I mean, why do we have officers working cold cases!!!!! What do we expect to solve!? And yet we have brand new fleets of cars several years before other departments change theirs out!!!!
Published on: 9/30/2020