KCPD sergeant sues BOPC, KCPD officers for racial profiling

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Posted at 12:43 PM, Apr 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-21 17:52:47-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department Sgt. Herb Robinson has filed a lawsuit in the Jackson County Circuit Court for an alleged racial profiling incident.

The lawsuit names the Board of Police Commissioners (BOPC) as well as KCPD officers Cole Modeer and Marco Olivas as defendants.

Robinson’s lawsuit is said to be in response to experiencing “assault, false imprisonment, conspiracy and intentional infliction of emotional distress,” according to court documents.

Around 5:30 p.m. on March 11, 2021, Robinson had left KCPD on the way to an off-duty post when partners Modeer and Olivas spotted him.

Court documents allege Modeer and Olivas began to follow Robinson due to his race once they had noticed he was a Black man.

While Robinson had not violated any laws and Modeer and Olivas had “no reasonable suspicion or probable cause to detain or arrest” him, the two followed Robinson out of their jurisdiction into Raytown.

In Raytown, Modeer and Olivas conducted an unlawful traffic stop, causing Robinson to “experience fear, anxiety, hostility, intimidation, mental anguish and emotional stress,” according to the lawsuit.

Modeer and Olivas reportedly made racially hostile and derogatory remarks while yelling and cursing at Robinson.

Robinson did not pose a threat to Modeer and Olivas throughout the incident.

In the aftermath of the traffic stop, Robinson reported the encounter to his KCPD superiors. However, no action was taken.

The incident was not investigated, and Modeer and Olivas provided false information about Robinson and the incident, according to court documents.

In turn, the lawsuit reports Robinson suffered “embarrassment, harm to his reputation, fear, anxiety, stress” and other damages.

Modeer and Olivas’ behavior was “reckless and outrageous” and displayed a “conscious disregard for” Robinson, according to court documents. Thus, Robinson is seeking punitive damages in an amount “sufficient to punish” defendants from continuing similar conduct in the future.

Along with Modeer and Olivas, KCPD is mentioned as being negligent and responsible for employing workers who did not create a safe, enjoyable work environment “without fear of assault, racial profiling or retaliatory treatment,” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit lists the amount at issue in this case as in excess of $25,000.

Robinson is demanding a jury trial on all issues listed in the suit.

When KSHB 41 reached out to KCPD for comment, the department said it does not generally comment on pending litigation "to ensure fairness to all sides."

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