Civil Rights

Khadijah Hardaway, a community organizer for Justice for Wyandotte, and others gather Thursday to apply pressure to Kansas City, Kan., Mayor David Alvey and Wyandotte County administrator Doug Blach. They want criminal charges filed against retired detective Roger Golubski, and an investigation into his cases. (Noah Taborda/Kansas Reflector)

Interfaith call for justice seeks accountability for Wyandotte County officials

BY: - August 28, 2020

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 […]

Angelica Hale says she plans to ask a federal judge to reconsider his decision to award her just nine months worth of back pay. She left Emporia State University in July 2015, citing a hostile work environment after she complained about the university's handling of a racial slur. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Former Emporia State University employee not happy with $64K ruling for discrimination

BY: and - August 27, 2020

TOPEKA — A federal judge has ordered Emporia State University to pay $64,000 to a former employee who faced retaliation after reporting a racist slur in 2015. Angelica Hale, 58, had argued for at least $500,000 to cover wages and benefits she would have earned if she had been allowed to stay at the university […]

Kansas Attorney General Derek said elderly Kansans should be placed in line for the COVID-19 vaccination ahead of younger state prison inmates. (Submitted/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas attorney general keen for Legislature to fix shortcomings of state disaster law

BY: - August 26, 2020

Attorney General Derek Schmidt says reform of Kansas' emergency management law is necessary given challenges surfacing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hundreds of police supporters demonstrate for a Back the Blue rally Tuesday in downtown Topeka ahead of a special council meeting to discuss potential police reform. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Hundreds rally in Topeka to ‘back the blue’ in clash with Black Lives Matter

BY: - August 25, 2020

TOPEKA — Hundreds of police supporters gathered Tuesday afternoon outside the capital’s city hall to protest demands by Black Lives Matter. Standing in sweltering heat, they chanted “back the blue,” joined in prayer, sang “God Bless America,” and cheered speakers, including three Republican candidates for the Kansas Legislature, who urged them to brace for a […]

Topeka Mayor Michelle De La Isla, the Democratic nominee for Congress in the 2nd District, laughs during a news conference Tuesday about the suggestion by Kim Borchers that the mayor is angling for the "woke vote" by pursuing police reform. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Politics, misinformation undermine Topeka debate on police reform

BY: - August 25, 2020

Kim Borchers wants Topeka residents to be afraid. Topeka Mayor Michelle De La Isla wants people to stop paying attention to lies they see online. A Kansas delegate to the Republican National Convention, Borchers hurled a Molotov cocktail of misinformation, anger and fear into public debate on police reform during a live Facebook video earlier […]

Removing roadblocks for Latino voters is slow work in Kansas

BY: - August 22, 2020

TOPEKA — Alejandro Rangel-Lopez didn’t think twice about taking legal action when Ford County Clerk Debbie Cox moved the only polling location outside of Dodge City limits in 2018. “Voting is one of the most important rights we have,” Rangel-Lopez said. “I learned from my father at an early age. He became a citizen in […]

Kansas rights commission embracing broader definition of sex discrimination

BY: - August 21, 2020

Kansas Human Rights Commission is expanding its reach following federal court decision defining sex discrimination to include LGBTQ complaints.

ACLU calls out Overland Park police for ‘militarized response’ to Black Lives Matter protest

BY: - August 19, 2020

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. […]

State Sen. Caryn Tyson, a Parker Republican and member of a COVID-19 economic recovery committee, says the one-page handout from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment improperly implies that businesses and people must cooperate with contact tracing by state or county health agencies. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

GOP senators rip state health agency on COVID-19 contact tracing, question death toll

BY: - August 13, 2020

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

BY: - August 8, 2020

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 […]

The Kansas Supreme Court issued a stay of a ruling by a Johnson County judge who declared the state's new emergency management law unconstitutional. The attorney general is appealing the lower court decision. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas attorney general asks feds to ease driver’s license reinstatment

BY: - August 5, 2020

Attorney General Derek Schmidt endorses federal reform to reduce impediments to renewal of a driver's license not tied to motorist safety issues.

Kansas election offices have been flooded with advance voting ballots as COVID-19 and competitive races prompted people to express themselves in a safely before Election Day on Tuesday. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas voters pivot to advance by-mail voting amid COVID-19

BY: and - August 4, 2020

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 […]