KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Department of Justice is investigating employment practices at the Kansas City Police Department.
The department said it’s fully cooperating with the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice’s investigation. KCPD said the DOJ notified the agency about the investigation Monday morning.
“It is the policy and practice of the Board of Police Commissioners and the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department to provide a work atmosphere free of actual or perceived discrimination and harassment,” Chief Joseph Mabin said in a statement.
“I am committed to ensuring every member experiences a safe and fair work environment and every applicant receives fair treatment throughout the hiring process.”
This new investigation follows a slew of lawsuits from employees accusing the department of racial discrimination and retaliation.
In 2020, three Black female detectives sued KCPD claiming they were discriminated against during an investigation into the Crimes Against Children Unit.
Earlier this year in April, a KCPD sergeant sued over alleged racial profiling during a traffic stop. Then later that month, two Black female officers sued the department alleging discrimination, retaliation and a hostile work environment.
Most recently in August, a KCPD detective sued the department claiming he was punished for reporting another officer’s illegal search.
Mayor Quinton Lucas said the announcement from the DOJ wasn’t surprising.
He said Monday there needs to be more accountability since many lawsuits on issues like discrimination are quietly handled behind closed doors. He said the process should be transparent.
“It’s not a rank and file issue. It’s a time we recognize it is a leadership issue, a leadership issue not just at the board, but a leadership issue with the state of Missouri that again and again suggests that any question to how our police department can do better is undermining policing — and I think that’s terribly wrong,” Lucas said.
The Fraternal Order of Police for Kansas City is not commenting at this time.
There’s no word from the DOJ on how they’ll move forward from here.
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