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Heartland Presbytery calls for KCPD Chief of Police Rick Smith's dismissal

KCPD Chief Rick Smith
Posted at 5:08 PM, Mar 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-23 17:31:13-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Heartland Presbytery, which is a council of the Presbyterian Church, is calling for the Board of Police Commissioners of the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department to dismiss Chief of Police Rick Smith.

The council also said it wants the police board to hire a chief "who will protect all the people of Kansas City equally and investigate and discipline police officers who act lawlessly, unethically and without proper respect, especially for Black and Brown people."

The council also accuses Smith of refusing to turn over charging documents when an officer is indicted on a fatal shooting in the letter written to Board of Commissioners President Don Wagner.

The letter also cited the "lack of a working relationship" between Smith and Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney Jean Peters Baker.

This isn't the first time there have been calls for Smith's ouster.

KCMO Councilman Eric Bunch suggested Smith resign due to a lack of progress in equipping officers with body cameras in January.

Several community organizations also called for him to resign in June "in the wake of recent homicides of African American men and excessive force at the hands of police in Kansas City."

The council's letter Thursday said Smith lacks "a working relationship with the Black community" in KCMO.

Smith previously told 41 Action News he had no plan of resigning.