Mayor Lucas talks about protests, what’s next for Kansas City

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. —  Protests continued for a third straight night in Kansas City Sunday. Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas joined FOX4 via video chat Monday morning to answer several questions and share his plan for the city moving forward. 

Q: What can you tell us about last night? And what’s the plan going forward?

A: “Yesterday there were thousands of people who came to Kansas City, who came to the Plaza and were able to share a message peacefully. I was in the crowd I was part of the group for some time. Much like the night before around 8:30, 9 o’clock we had a set of people who I think were spelled down to try to cause some trouble. Fortunately, there were fewer people there last night as compared to the nights before. We saw less looting, we saw less vandalism. I think we saw a safer environment. Not as safe as we would like. But I think that is largely what you saw– a lot of law abiding citizens that were listening to the rules. There were others who didn’t. But I think this morning people are waking up safely because of the action of both the police department and also many good protesters who followed the rules and were safe.”

Q: What ideas did you get from the community on how we can move forward with community relations and the police?

A: “Well you know, one of the things I was proudest of in connection to last night compared to the  before is people talked to me about things. They wanted more accountability for the Kansas City Police Department. They wanted more opportunities for minority hiring on the Kansas City police force. Those are the sorts of things we can take bold, concrete actions on. What we can’t do is answer to is breaking glass at a cupcake shop on the Plaza. What we can’t answer to is torching a news van on fire.”

Q: You mentioned you’ve already made some changes. What kind of changes have you made?

A: “Well, I did note that to a lot of our marchers they thought that perhaps we weren’t listening. I saw yesterday that people were allowed to march in the streets. That was starkly different from what happened on Saturday night where they were contained in the park and that led to a lot of conflict. We allowed folks to frankly have a whole area where they could express themselves. We had thousands more people last night than we did on Saturday and certainly than we did on Friday. I think you saw that. I came to the protests on Sunday. I mean those are the sorts of things that because they said that, because they asked for it, because they demanded it we were able to make that move quickly. And so, that shows I think we’re listening and this is just the beginning.”

Q: Do you think we can change as a county?

A: “I do. One of the concerns I have is the top of every newscast, and I said this yesterday. I told this to the protesters. I don’t want the top of the newscast to be pictures of a burning car or people running out of a building with loot. And by and large, we were better last night. I think the way we make change is that people see there were thousands of people who cared about a cause, who cared about an issues, who cared about making a difference. That’s what I’m going to take out of this moment. We can fix glass. We can clean off the spray paint off the buildings, but we can’t bring lives back. We can’t bring George Floyd’s life back. I think if everybody who has this energy channels it to change, we can really get somewhere.”

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