KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As the community rallies behind the Black Lives Matter movement, some city leaders are hoping this momentum carries over to other issues.
“When you talk about the totality of preserving black lives in the community, we have to find our lives more valuable than the lives of those who are willing to destroy what we’re seeking to do,” 3rd District At-Large Councilman Brandon Ellington said.
Ellington is responding to a shooting that happened over the weekend in the 18th & Vine District that left one person dead and four people injured.
Business owners like Anita Moore are upset that police don’t have a big presence in the area.
“It would be nice to know that we have presence in the district. I mean, it’s an entertainment district. It’s historical. We just need support,” said Moore, the owner of Soiree Steak & Oyster House.
As protesters take to the streets, nearly two weeks after the death of George Floyd, many are demanding police reform. Community leaders are hoping to find some common ground.
“I think it’s more emotional for everybody because of the heightened of the racial tension and the racism and the things that are happening and the conversations that a lot of our leaders should be having,” Black Excellence KC Founder Kiona Sinks said.
Ellington said work is already being done to curb violence. He’s launched the “No More Excuses Coalition,” focusing on eliminating crime.
“We have to get to a point where if you’re not here to enjoy yourself and you’re here to cause harm, we can’t consider you family or a brother,” Ellington said.