Civil Rights

Topeka police audit finds concerning behavior by officer who used force on autistic child

BY: - October 20, 2020

TOPEKA — A Topeka police auditor determined an officer abided by department policy but used “concerning” judgment last month when he cursed at an autistic child, pepper sprayed the child’s dog, and handcuffed and threw the child to the ground, breaking the child’s wrist. Body camera video shows the officer yelling at the 14-year-old boy […]

The Kansas Department of Labor responded to an increase in credible threats of violence against the agency and its employees by suspending on camera television interviews. (Submitted/Kansas Reflector)

Senate panel endorses confirmation of Robba Moran, three others

BY: - October 19, 2020

The Kansas Senate's confirmation committee votes to affirm nominations of two people to the State Banking Board and to the KU Hospital board.

‘Representation matters’: Kansas candidates hope to bring diverse voices to office

BY: - October 17, 2020

MANHATTAN — Stephanie Byers sits in her living room, surrounded by her collection of guitars, to participate in one of the many Zoom calls on her schedule. The Democratic candidate for the Kansas House said the COVID-19 pandemic has forced her to change the way she campaigns. In March, she walked the Wichita district’s streets, […]

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt signed onto a brief with more than a dozen attorneys general in a Texas lawsuit questioning swing-state vote counts in the election President Donald Trump lost to President-elect Joe Biden. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Federal judge affirms constitutionality of Kansas’ 250-foot buffer zone at voting sites

BY: - October 7, 2020

The Kansas law forbidding electioneering within a 250-foot radius of voting sites is deemed constitutional by a federal judge.

to COVID-19 and lifting the statewide disaster declaration allowing suspension of speedy-trial rules would overwhelm the judicial branch. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

COVID-19 infects Kansas judicial system with backlog of more than 1,700 trials

BY: - October 7, 2020

At least 1,700 criminal trials have been delayed due to COVID-19 in Kansas, and lifting statewide disaster declaration will overwhelm judiciary.

Supreme Court ruling on Voting Rights Act opened floodgates for new restrictions

BY: - October 7, 2020

It hadn’t even been a day since the U.S. Supreme Court dismantled one of the pillars of voting rights in America, and North Carolina lawmakers weren’t wasting any time. Republican legislators had been contemplating a bill that would require photo identification to vote. The bill had plenty of support, but it had spent the past […]

Black Lives Matter casts doubt on independence of Topeka’s police auditor

BY: - October 6, 2020

TOPEKA — Leaders of Black Lives Matter Topeka say the city’s police department must shift its focus to correcting unjust policing systems and practices to achieve meaningful reform. More than 50 people gathered Tuesday evening in front of the Statehouse before marching in near silence to City Hall, where they called for increased accountability from […]

Voter fraud myth persists despite constant failure to prove claims

BY: - October 6, 2020

TOPEKA, Kan. — Scott Moore had never heard of the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck program before election officials in Kansas and Florida exposed his personal information, along with 944 other Kansas voters. The now-defunct Crosscheck was designed to help county clerks clean up registration lists by looking for voters who had moved to neighboring states. […]

The Kansas Board of Barbering ran into problems at a joint House and Senate committee hearing on proposed rules allowing the board to offer a preliminary assessment of whether a person's civil or criminal history could disqualify them for a state license. This shop in Lawrence is operated by Rep. Mike Amyx, a Democrat in the Kansas House. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Bipartisan scorn for barbering board’s style of grading potential licensees

BY: - October 6, 2020

Kansas legislators are skeptical of the state barbering board's plan for weighing civil and criminal records to decide suitability for a barbering license.

OPINION

Black girls in Kansas face harsher discipline than their white peers — this needs to change

BY: - October 6, 2020

The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Jazmine Rogers is a youth leader with the Kansas juvenile justice group Progeny. Growing up in Kansas, I’ve witnessed the heartbreaking relentlessness of our state’s youth […]

Republican nominee for U.S. Senate Roger Marshall speaks to potential voters about abortion and other issues Saturday at the outset of a Kansas GOP bus tour one month before voters decide outcome of his campaign against Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Barbara Bollier. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Abortion a blunt instrument in Bollier, Marshall battle for open U.S. Senate seat

BY: - October 3, 2020

Abortion politics driving wedge into U.S. Senate showdown in Kansas between Republican Roger Marshall and Democrat Barbara Bollier.

Former Topeka resident Kevin Young, a poet and author, will become director of the director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. (Melanie Dunea/Smithsonian Institution)

Former Topekan to lead Smithsonian’s museum of African American history, culture

BY: - September 30, 2020

The new director of Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture is poet and author Kevin Young, a former Topeka resident.