A group of Kansas City activists and faith leaders gathered Friday outside the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department to call for a federal investigation of the department’s practices.
Lora McDonald executive director of, MORE2, the Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equity, said the group plans to file a request with the U.S. Department of Justice to review the police department.
The social justice organization has long called for an external probe of the department, claiming it is rife with corruption.
The department came under scrutiny in 2017 when Lamonte McIntyre was exonerated after spending 23 years in prison for a double murder he did not commit. A lawsuit filed by McIntyre claims officers manipulated eyewitnesses and wrote police reports with fabricated information.
Former detective Roger Golubski was accused of engaging in egregious misconduct during the investigation. The lawsuit alleges Golubski coerced women into false testimony and raped a woman whose children he had promised to help get out of legal trouble.
Questions have been raised publicly about how much the department knew about Golubski’s behavior.
In recent years, the department has been plagued by other controversies. One officer pleaded guilty to assaulting a cadet and another officer filed a lawsuit claiming she faced discrimination and sexism.
Mayoral candidate Tyrone Garner, a retired KCK police officer, said if elected, he would support a DOJ investigation.
The department is now led by Karl Oakman, who was sworn in as police chief last month.
Nancy Chartrand, a spokeswoman for the police department, distributed a written statement in response to questions about call for an investigation. The statement was attributed to Oakman.
“The Kansas City, Kansas Police Department continues to be willing, and available, to assist any agency working any investigation involving our department,” the statement said. “Our relationship with the community is of utmost importance which is why we are focused on strengthening current relationships and restoring those that have been broken.”