Activists call for US Justice Department to investigate Kansas City, Kansas police department

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — An activist organization is asking the US Department of Justice to investigate the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department.

The Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equity, or “MORE Squared,” gathered outside police headquarters to announce its intention to file a formal request with the Justice Department.

“How long must we wait for a government to protect the people? How long must justice be paralyzed? How long shall the wicked surround the righteous?” Pastor Rick Behrens, who leads Grandview Park Presbyterian Church, said.

The group asked Mayor/CEO of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County, David Alvey, to call for the FBI or KBI to investigate the department and former Det. Roger Golubski two years ago. Golubski is accused of using his role as a detective to prey on women.

That request wasn’t granted, prompting community leaders to lead another cry for justice on Friday.

KCK native Violet Martin addressed a crowd of supporters, many of whom know her brother, Brian Betts, and her cousin, Celester McKinney. Both men were convicted of first-degree murder in 1998. Betts and McKinney are still incarcerated for crimes Martin maintains they didn’t commit.

Martin said prosecutors conspired to ensure Betts and McKinney would be convicted, intimidating witnesses to cooperate with their plan and using false testimony to cement their case.

“We want investigations completed and questions answered for all our loved ones. This is important for voting and bringing to light what these people have gotten away with for these last 24 and a half years,” Martin stated.

Martin said she’s asking community members to rally again at 9 a.m. July 19, when protestors will call attention to the cases involving Betts and McKinney.

In response, the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department released a statement:

“The Kansas City, Kansas Police Department continues to be willing, and available, to assist any agency working any investigation involving our department. Our relationship with the community is of utmost importance which is why we are focused on strengthening current relationships and restoring those that have been broken,” KCKPD Chief Karl Oakman said.

More Squared also pushed for Golubski to be indicted earlier this year, claiming he extorted sexual favors from women and coerced some into providing false information to convict innocent individuals.

One of those individuals was Lamonte McIntyre, a Black man who was released from prison after being wrongfully convicted of murder. 

In February, McIntyre received $1.5 million as a part of a settlement of his wrongful conviction lawsuit.

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