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City of KCMO requests week extension to respond to BOPC lawsuit

KC City Hall
Posted at 6:03 PM, Jun 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-15 19:03:29-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — The original deadline for Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Quinton Lucas and other City Council members to respond to a lawsuit filed by the Kansas City Police Department Board of Police Commissioners was Tuesday.

A spokesperson said the City has requested another week to respond.

During Tuesday's monthly Board of Police Commissioners meeting, Lucas said the City will likely take time to look at the motion to intervene filed Monday by civil rights activist Gwen Grant.

"It raises a lot of arguments that I think align with the city's perspectives, one was the violation of the Hancock Amendment meaning that you can’t have taxation without representation," Lucas said.

The lawsuit, in Jackson County, Missouri, Circuit Court calls two ordinances passed last month illegal.

The ordinances reduced the police department’s budget but called on returning the money to the police department through a newly created community services and crime prevention fund.

Lucas said the process would provide more accountability within and more local control to the department.

Lucas spoke about the response he anticipates the City will make.

"I think we will see a response that makes clear that the Board's argument is without merit legally, I believe it is without merit politically," Lucas said. "I think that we should all be working together to make sure that we can solve violent crime problems rather than taxpayer dollars versus taxpayer dollars."

The City's request for another week to respond to the lawsuit comes as Lucas requests a change to how the Commission's meetings flow. He sent a letter to the Commission Monday requesting changes that will get right to the issue of gun violence.

Lucas requests the BOPC to review “changes in service levels or staffing cuts” and for each meeting to begin with a presentation on year-to-date gun violence statistics, including homicides and non-fatal shootings.

Lucas said the issue is what the public cares about the most.

"While it is good to get details about other items, I think most Kansas Citians are concerned about homicides, most Kansas Citians are concerned about shootings, significant crime in their neighborhoods and so that is the work that I think we're going to make sure we do in more of these meetings," Lucas said.

In the letter, Lucas also requests reports on trends in crime from neighborhood representatives, specifically those with the highest rates of gun violence.

Lucas is hopeful the Commission will consider his requests.

"All of us are interested in the same thing ultimately, which is making a safer Kansas City," Lucas said. "We may have strongly different ways of how we get there, I am one who believes that status quo is not the way to get there and I think that through the source of changes we can find a positive direction that enhances and increases our trend line and making Kansas City safer long-term."