“The KCKPD has failed to provide accountability for officer misconduct,” according to the lawsuit.
Jay-Z is taking legal action against the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department for covering up alleged misconduct allegations.
The rapper’s philanthropic group Team Roc filed a lawsuit in the district court of Wyandotte County, Kansas on Monday, seeking the release of investigative files and personnel records that would shed light on complaints filed against members of KCKPD’s investigative division, as reported by ABC News.
“For decades, the KCKPD has failed to provide accountability for officer misconduct,” according to the lawsuit. “And, thanks to the blue veil of silence and apparent failure to investigate serious allegations, little of it has come to light.”
(Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Team Roc is “seeking documents outside of the scope of personnel records to determine if “complaints are being seriously addressed and whether there is sufficient oversight and supervision over the KCKPD.” The lawsuit alleges that department officials refuse to provide such documents.
KCKPD noted they are not required to release personnel records and criminal investigation files, “without specific circumstances.” Nancy Chartrand, public information officer of the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department, told ABC News that, “the Unified Government has previously produced hundreds of the requested records per the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) with some exceptions.”
“Because of the [Kansas] Public Records Act that allows interested parties to look at various states and government documents, we’re allowed to see certain files and how the government handled certain issues,” Attorney Alex Spiro, who represents Team Roc, told ABC News. “The government has attempted to block our access to those files, and so we’re suing to see what they don’t want us to see.”
“KORA does not require the disclosure of personnel records and criminal investigation records, for example, without specific circumstances. In response, Roc Nation has filed a 28-page petition stating there is a special interest in disclosing all records so the public can seek justice,” Chartrand added. “Once the petition has been thoroughly reviewed, the Unified Government will follow-up by filing a response.”
Jay-Z attends the Pre-GRAMMY Gala and GRAMMY Salute to Industry Icons Honoring Sean “Diddy” Combs on January 25, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)
Team Roc’s lawsuit is asking the court to override the state law and make the KCKPD documents public.
The lawsuit alleges that the department agreed to provide documents “pertaining to the complaints made against members of the Investigative Division,” but has “refused to produce documents pertaining to any steps that the city has taken in response to those complaints, including any investigations or disciplinary proceedings initiated as a result of the complaints.”
“The KCKPD has, however, refused to produce documents relating to any internal investigations into wrongdoing by specific members of the KCKPD, preventing the public from evaluating whether the KCKPD has adequately supervised its officers, investigated any complaints, and addressed the allegations of misconduct against members of its force,” the lawsuit said.
This lawsuit comes amid accusations that members of the KCKPD are corrupt. Local activists have called for the U.S Department of Justice to investigate a slew of incidents related to misconduct and discrimination, according to the report.
“The Kansas City, Kansas Police Department continues to be willing, and available, to assist any agency working any investigation involving our department,” a spokesman for the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department said in a statement in July. “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.”
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