KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Kansas City, Kansas police have said there’s footage from officers’ body worn cameras of Monday's encounter that resulted in former KCKPD detective Lionel Womack’s death. Some in his family are now calling for the release of that video to help them heal and bring some closure.
Grief has spoiled this Thanksgiving for Womack's loved ones. His former father-in-law, Arthur Hayes, described the last couple of days as terrible.
"That’s the hard part, it's not so much he was a black man. He was one of them. They called him brother once upon a time and now you're going to kill your brother? Why?" Hayes said.
On Monday afternoon Hayes rushed to the scene on N. 57th Street near Interstate 70 with his daughter, who grew up with Womack, married him and had two children before splitting up.
"I want him to rest in peace. You know, with everyone knowing that he was a great father. And he did everything he can take care of us," Korrey Womack, Lionel’s 15-year-old son told KSHB 41 News on Wednesday.
He would like the community to remember his father not for the way he died but the way he lived.
"As a kid I did ask him 'why do you want to become a cop?' And you know he loved helping people," Korrey said.
Since the incident, Womack's family from his first marriage said no one from KCKPD had expressed their condolences or given them any insight into how a 911 call about a suspicious person turned deadly.
"They didn't know who he was? You had a 17-year vet, and you had a two-year rookie out there," Hayes said. "Lionel was on the force for 13 years. Yeah, I'm pretty sure y'all cross paths somewhere along the way. You knew who he was."
Hayes said he would like to see some the body camera footage of the encounter to answer some of the questions Womack's loved ones have.
"If it comes out it's justifiable, show me, show us, because it's not looking justifiable to us," Hayes said.
A spokesperson for KCKPD said the department follows Kansas state statutes, which in this case means immediate next of kin would have the right to view the footage.
"It’s hard knowing that he’s not going to be here this Thanksgiving, because, you know, usually he always pops in to come see us," Korrey said.
Womack's loved ones are bracing for the ongoing hurt going into the holidays.
"This is a hard week. It's going to be hard weeks to come. It's going to be hard months, but we'll get through it," Hayes said.
For jurisdictions that utilize the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline, anonymous tips can be made by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at P3Tips.com.