Kansas House Bill 2648: File false complaint about police, face felony charge

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - File a false complaint against police and you could face a felony offense. That’s what some Kansas lawmakers considered Tuesday.

Several people and agencies spoke at a hearing at the statehouse on House Bill 2698.

When Beverly Stewart heard about the proposed bill she was outraged. A Prairie Village police officer shot and killed Stewart’s daughter, 47-year-old Susan Stuckey in 2010. It took Stewart two years to get the police records.

This new bill would now make any false complaint about a law enforcement officer subject to prosecution for perjury, a felony offense.

“It's your word against the entire police department. Against all of them. What do you thinks going to happen when police investigate the police?” Stewart said.

Attorney Cheryl Pilate said this bill is just unconstitutional.

“This is a grave threat to the rights of American citizens. It's absolutely frightening and would pave the way to an absolute police state,” Pilate said.

Beverly Stewart is positive this type of legislation would have made her battle even harder.

“I'm a fighter. I don't give up, I keep fighting. It's tough on you, it's very tough. But it's taken its toll on me,” she said.

One attorney spoke in favor of the bill at the hearing. However, several other agencies including representatives from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department and Lenexa Police Department spoke in opposition to the bill.

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