KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Protests that have resulted in vandalism and lawless behavior have prompted a group of urban core advocates to begin speaking out.
Neighborhood leaders want peaceful changes to make Kansas City a better place to live.
Leaders in the urban core say they know that if police stop them, they should comply with all lawful orders and they should receive humane treatment in return.
Longtime Kansas Citians say there’s too many people part of the criminal justice protests who are advocating confrontation and defiance of police, and not focusing on peaceful, unified actions that will change the system so that everyone receives equal treatment under the law.
Urban core residents want more people to become active legally, through voting and forming a political force for change.
“The people that are here, especially in the African-American community, know the hardship after the riots in ’68,” said Joseph Jackson, an urban core advocate. “Businesses left our community and never came back. Those same businesses, Quik Trip left the community in Ferguson, Mo., and didn’t come back. So when we go out, we are going out and silently protesting. We are showing up, but we are not out trying to throw bottles, throw cans. We need to look at those people who are doing that because they are not only hurting our neighborhoods, but they are hurting our city. And they are making us look bad.”
Advocates like Jackson believe if authorities had acted swiftly to arrest and charge the four police officers in Minneapolis, Minn., cities across the nation would have been saved countless dollars in property damage and overtime costs for police and national guardsmen.
Although African-American leaders say they are upset by injustice, they say it’s important that a movement to create lasting change in our society involve people of all faiths, backgrounds, and ethnicities.