ACLU calls out Overland Park police for ‘militarized response’ to Black Lives Matter protest
The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas this week condemned the Overland Park Police Department for an “overly reactive and militarized response” to a Black Lives Matter protest. In a letter addressed to Overland Park Police Chief Frank Donchez, the civil rights group highlighted concerns with officers’ handling of a peaceful protest on July 24. […]
GOP senators rip state health agency on COVID-19 contact tracing, question death toll
State Sens. Caryn Tyson and Gene Suellentrop take issue with KDHE's approach to contact tracing and death totals in COVID-19 pandemic.
As feds turn attention to protests, Native Americans cope with unchecked violence
Native American activists say violence against indigenous people is being overlooked by federal authorities who are more interested in a politically charged crackdown on civil rights protests. The U.S. Justice Department in July announced the launch of Operation Legend, an anti-violence campaign, in Kansas City, Missouri, then expanded the federal policing efforts to other major […]
Kansas attorney general asks feds to ease driver’s license reinstatment
Attorney General Derek Schmidt endorses federal reform to reduce impediments to renewal of a driver's license not tied to motorist safety issues.
Kansas voters pivot to advance by-mail voting amid COVID-19
TOPEKA — Six times the number of advance by-mail ballots have been returned to local election offices in Kansas compared to the 2016 and 2018 primary elections with the surge in popularity tied to competitive races and the pandemic. Secretary of State Scott Schwab, who serves as the state’s top elections officer, said 159,000 voters […]
Judge dismisses Democrats’ voting lawsuit against SOS Scott Schwab
Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab says Democrats and the ACLU should stop filing frivolous elections lawsuits that waste taxpayer dollars.
Get in ‘good trouble’: John Lewis’ words ring out in Capitol one more time
WASHINGTON — The immortal words of the late civil rights leader John Lewis rang out from the U.S. Capitol on Monday during a private ceremony in celebration of his life. “You must find a way to get in the way,” he said in a recording of a 2014 commencement speech he gave at Emory University. “You […]
Their banners got them banned from the Statehouse. Then they changed the rules.
When Jonathan Cole unfurled a 24-foot banner in the rotunda of the Kansas Statehouse calling for the expansion of Medicaid, he didn’t expect to reshape Capitol policy on protests. Cole, who now works in government technologies, sees how pertinent the demonstration was to current, ongoing protests over police reform. “I’m glad we were able to […]
Kansas Commission on Racial Equity and Justice turns focus to community involvement
Wichita police Chief Gordon Ramsay says throughout his career in law enforcement he has noticed, and often been told of, the need to address the system of fines leading to the removal of driver’s licenses and sometimes incarceration. “Once you get into that cycle of debt, you lose your license and then you can’t get […]
State Finance Council complicit in cloaking financial terms of lawsuit settlements
State Finance Council, comprised of the Kansas governor and eight legislators, test transparency limits by avoiding public discussion of lawsuit settlements.
Kansas activist, attorneys say police reform needs transparency
When Ursula Minor, president of the Lawrence branch of the NAACP, sat down with a former member of the Lawrence Police Department, she was surprised to hear his cavalier attitude toward issues of racial justice. “They said they didn’t see any problems. They told me minorities hadn’t told them about any problems,” Minor said at […]
Civil Rights hero John Lewis changed America making ‘good trouble’
Civil Rights icon and longtime Georgia Congressman John Lewis, who advocated for change through nonviolence, died late Friday night at the age of 80. The Atlanta Democrat was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer in late December. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed his death, saying the country had lost “one of the greatest heroes of […]