NewsLocal News


KCMO mayor announces new transparency, accountability measures for KCPD

Posted at 2:26 PM, Jun 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-04 18:57:38-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas provided an update Thursday afternoon on the outcome of an emergency meeting with the Board of Police Commissioners.

Lucas called the meeting earlier this week in response to calls for reformative action from protesters and social justice groups alike.

Kansas City has seen nearly a week of protests over police brutality sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

At Thursday’s meeting, Lucas said the board established protocol for use of force complaints.

Lucas said the complaints, if they reach a certain level of severity, will be sent to an outside agency for review. The board is still determining specific parameters for the level of severity.

The mayor said the board is also reviewing its policy on officer-involved shootings and other incidents.

As a result, all officer-involved shootings will be reviewed by outside agencies, “every one, even in situations where the officer’s conduct appears justified, we will make sure that there is an external third-party review.”

The board has also called for KCPD Chief Rick Smith to review his department’s use of tear gas and other projectiles during protests and other activities.

“It’s my view that tear gas and other projectiles should be used only in situations where there is an imminent threat to the life of either the officer or others in an environment,” Lucas said.

After the events in Minneapolis, the mayor said the board is also interested in establishing ways for officers to report concerns regarding fellow officers’ conduct.

Lucas said the board wants to establish an avenue through which officers can report suspected wrongdoing to the Office of Community Complaints, as well whistleblower protections for officers who make such reports.

Beginning immediately, the mayor said the police department will submit weekly reports to the City Council, which will improve its relationship with the public through transparency, and better inform council decisions on police spending.

Despite calls for his resignation, Lucas said Smith would remain in his role “as we weather our current crisis with protests and also as we continue to address our issues relating to violent crime.”

The next Board of Police Commissioners meeting on June 16 will be open to the public.