Kansas City announces new oversight measures for police

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas on Thursday announced several new policies that were approved by the Board of Police Commissioners and will take immediate effect within the city’s police department.

The changes come in the midst of ongoing protests in Kansas City and across the U.S. regarding police violence toward African Americans. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis.

Kansas City’s new measures mandate outside investigations of all offer-involved shootings and major use-of-force complaints.

They also require the police department to ensure whistleblowers have a clear and codified method for reporting unlawful or unethical conduct within the department.

In addition, the department will be required to send probable cause statements to county prosecutors’ offices in officer-involved shootings.

The police department is reviewing its use of projectiles and tear gas, with an official policy update expected from the Board of Police Commissioners at its June 16 session.

“I have spent significant time listening to Kansas Citians this week, who all share this message: we’re tired of waiting for change,” Lucas said in a press release. “I hear these concerns. We must do better.”

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