KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Missouri National Guard surrounded the Kansas City Police Department’s East Patrol Division and military vehicles blocked driveways as protesters brought their concerns directly to police Friday night.
“They don’t care about us,” one protester shouted outside KCPD’s station at 27th and Prospect.
Approximately 200-300 protesters gathered there to air grievances of police brutality.
Some said they and their families had been personally victimized by area police departments.
Other than marches, Friday was the first day protests were organized in an area outside of the Country Club Plaza.
There were no clashes with police. No arrests were made. Police weren’t in riot gear.
Instead, officers stood and listened closer to the protesters behind traffic barriers as the Missouri National Guard surrounded the large complex with each military member spaced out by 10 or 15 feet.
Right now, it’s unclear if any protests will be held at this or any other Kansas City police stations the rest of this weekend or any time in the near future.
Earlier in the day, hundreds of protesters gathered on the steps of Kansas City’s City Hall and then moved to the streets of downtown.
More than 1,000 people packed into the corridor between City Hall, police headquarters and the courthouse.
The prominent message in the rally was that the movement must go beyond anger over George Floyd’s death and keep the spark that’s ignited burning for real community change.
City Councilwoman Melissa Robinson gave an impassioned plea for those gathered to never abandon their protest, but to make a long-term plan of action to help ensure black lives matter.
“This is broader issue more than a camera or police oversight. This is about the persistence of systemic knees on the necks of black lives,” she said.
She laid out a seven-step plan to reform city policy well beyond the police department.
The plan includes everything from transportation and housing, to ensuring development deals don’t divert tax dollars away from struggling schools — all things aimed at helping communities of color.