KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Community activists and faith leaders are demanding action and transparency from Wyandotte County authorities on investigations into wrongful convictions and misconduct of a retired police detective.
Khadijah Hardaway, a community organizer for Justice for Wyandotte, said in a call for justice Thursday night that accountability for Kansas City, Kansas, officials is long overdue.
“I called out to the Muslim community — 25,000 strong responded in support of justice for Wyandotte County,” Hardaway said. “They responded here in person, and they responded online calling for answers. All faiths must join together now.”
Hardaway was joined by representatives from the Kansas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and Broadway Church. Their demands were echoed by a crowd of about 20 gathered at the Unified Government building in Kansas City to apply pressure to Mayor David Alvey and county administrator Doug Bach.
Demands include charging retired detective Roger Golubski, and that district attorney Mark Dupree investigate all cold cases in which Golubski may have been involved.
Complaints against Golubski began over the case of Lamonte McIntyre, a black man in Kansas City, Kansas, who spent 23 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit. A lawsuit claims McIntyre was framed because his mother denied the former detective’s advances.
The lawsuit and increased scrutiny over Golubski’s conduct led the Kansas Bureau of investigation to launch an investigation in 2019. Findings were turned over to federal authorities in July. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation reported no Kansas laws broken within the statute of limitations.
Speakers at the event said if Golubski’s behavior is allowed, it will prove accountability is not a priority for the Unified Government.
“The government must remember that we are their constituents. They are accountable to us,” said Amy Shoemaker, of Broadway Church. “It is our hard-earned dollars that fund this government and we demand that our funds go toward our collective flourishment.”
Justice for Wyandotte also called for the exoneration of John Keith Calvin, a man who has spent nearly 20 years in prison for a crime he says he did not commit and someone else has allegedly confessed to.
Calvin is currently serving a life sentence for murder and attempted robbery at Lansing Correctional Facility.
If the group’s demands are not met, they are asking that Alvey and Bach resign.
“We need Mayor Alvey and administrator Bach to prove to us that they can be trusted,” Shoemaker said.
Organizers described the event’s proceedings as an interfaith call to action for the Wyandotte community.
Moussa Elbayoumy, board chairmen of CAIR Kansas, said regardless of faith or skin color, people must no longer stand for those prosecuted without reason.
“Many people have been suffering for a long time because of a lack of action or incorrect action,” Elbayoumy said. “No one is above the law, and we must make that clear.”
Brother A. Washington El, of Kansas City, Kansas, attended the call for justice and urged all in attendance to keep an open mind and heart.
“I don’t have all the facts, but I know that we all have questions that need answering,” Washington El said. “Everybody here should ask these questions and be participants in greater justice.”