Thursday, June 11, 2020

Mayor Quinton Lucas Letter To KCPD: "Ass-Up Face-Down Is What I Do....,"

kansascity |  A week after hundreds of people gathered on the Country Club Plaza to protest racism and police brutality, Mayor Quinton Lucas sent a letter to Kansas City police thanking them for their work during the demonstrations.

The letter, dated June 10 with an official letterhead, says some members of the public laid at the officers’ feet centuries-old race problems, and says it was “unreasonable” to assign blame to rank-and-file officers. It notes the long hours, “harsh insults” and injuries experienced by police. 

Some community leaders on Thursday questioned the mayor’s focus on the suffering of the police, noting that Kansas City officers had used pepper spray and tear gas on protesters, sometimes in ways that sparked sharp outcry from members of the public. 

One Kansas City man has said a rubber bullet fired by police may cause him to lose an eye. Another had his leg violently smashed by a police tear gas canister. Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said her office is reviewing video of Kansas City officers who pepper-sprayed a pair of protesters, arresting one after he yelled at police.

On Thursday, Lucas said he recognized the concerns protesters raised but he wrote the letter to acknowledge the many patrol officers, detectives and others for the work they perform each day to protect the city. 

He noted a female homicide detective he saw examining evidence and speaking to witnesses following a shooting that left one dead and four injured near his home at 18th and Vine streets. 

“I sent it (the letter) because this is what I’m thinking,” he said. “It is what I do with anything else and some people will not like and some people will.”

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