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How did the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department get Jay-Z's attention?

Posted at 10:15 PM, Sep 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-22 09:11:34-04

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — On Monday, Jay-Z's group, Roc Nation, filed a petition looking for records of alleged misconduct at the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department.

Since then, one of his attorneys told KSHB 41 News that they've received a lot of calls — not just from ordinary folks, but from former law enforcement who want to share their stories of alleged corruption within the department.

"We believe that there’s a lot more information that's available that they are withholding, especially given the documented cases of corruption over the years," Christina Sarchio, an attorney representing Roc Nation said.

The group believes there's an extensive history of misconduct within its rank and file.

"Beyond just personnel records, we're asking for the complaints, we're asking to understand how the police handles complaints, whether there were investigations as a result of those complaints and what, if any, discipline was imposed," Sarchio said.

She adds the KCKPD has given them hundreds of pages of documents mostly from handbooks describing procedures and just a handful of complaints.

"But they were heavily redacted and frankly, they didn't really reveal any information about how the complaint was handled, once that it was filed," Sarchio said.

Roc Nation learned about the alleged misconduct at KCKPD from the Midwest Innocence Project, who worked to free Lamonte McIntyre who spent 23 years in prison, wrongly convicted of murder.

McIntyre has sued former KCK detective Roger Golubski, saying he framed him after his mother refused the detective's sexual advances.

"Roger Golubski is the big bad boogeyman in the story, but people like to forget that there was a whole squad that knew what he was doing, that saw what he was doing," Nikki Richardson, lead organizer for Justice For Wyandotte said. "There was a whole culture that allowed that to continue."

Richardson has shed light on KCKPD's problematic history through a number of protests and on "The 7th Street Podcast," that she launched last December.

"And so of course, there's no incentive for them to open up those cans of worms because they'd have to deal with that accountability," Richardson said.

But she and Roc Nation hope the national exposure will result in changes at KCKPD.

"Honestly a complete restructuring of how accountability and transparency is delivered to the community in Wyandotte County," Richardson said. "We deserve a lot better than what we're getting and we're not going to stop until we get that."

Roc Nation has also filed a class action lawsuit suit against the Mississippi Bureau of Prisons on behalf of inmates that weren't receiving healthcare, that case, like the one in KCK is still ongoing.