NAACP: Privatizing Westport sidewalks could increase civil rights violations

Posted at 3:23 PM, Dec 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-27 16:57:43-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City, Missouri branch of the NAACP says the city council's decision to privatize Westport sidewalks "amounts to a failure to perform its public duty."

"Privatizing public lands are not a solution for legitimate concerns about crime," said Rev. Dr. Rodney Williams, the group's president. "Although privatization is much in style these days, it cannot solve this very real issue. Indeed, it is more likely to increase civil rights violations, and increase racial tension in our city."

The council passed the decision in an 8-5 vote last week. It was meant to address rising crime in the area. The decision allows for additional security measures, such as metal detectors, to be put in place around the area on Friday and Saturday nights. 

The NAACP, which has already vocally opposed the issue, suggested there were other ways to address crime. It suggested cutting the number of bar licenses, having individual businesses search patrons upon entry and increasing the police presence after 11 p.m.

The group will hold a press conference to address these issues at 10 a.m. Dec. 29 at the Swope Parkway United Christian Church (6140 Swope Parkway).