KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A grassroots group continues to seek changes from police, saying officers too often resort to deadly force.
The Metropolitan Organization for Racial and Economic Equality coordinated a rally among more than 50 people Tuesday morning, continuing to call for police Chief Rick Smith to be fired. MORE2 claims Smith has excused and accepted what the group believes are abusive actions by officers.
Many of the people who spoke to police commissioners Tuesday are mothers, sisters or friends of loved ones killed by police.
Khadijah Hardaway said her husband called police to report his car stolen. She alleged that officers in turn held a gun to his head over an outstanding traffic ticket.
“It’s important that we take action,” Hardaway told police commissioners. “That we make the change. That you disrupt their day every single day. Call the chief and tell him it’s time for you to release that tape. It’s time for you to bring charges against that officer that killed our black brother. It’s time. Time out on the B.S. It’s time for you to call the council people. Call your Mayor Lucas and let him know that all of these people need to be out of their seats right now.”
MORE2 also has been pushing for local control of the Kansas City police department. That would require a change in state law as well as a vote of Kansas Citians.
In all, seven people spoke to commissioners Tuesday demanding more changes and more transparency in reporting police actions.
They claimed too often police serve and protect their own, not the community around them.