Civil Rights

Jury convicts Derek Chauvin of murder for killing George Floyd

BY: - April 20, 2021

The jury has spoken, and found Derek Chauvin guilty in the death of George Floyd. The former Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd, who was handcuffed and face down on the pavement, for more than 9 minutes at 38th Street and Chicago Avenue last May. Chauvin was taken into custody and will be sentenced in […]

Wichita police unfairly target minorities with gang list, ACLU and Kansas Appleseed allege in lawsuit

BY: - April 15, 2021

TOPEKA — A lawsuit filed Thursday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and Kansas Appleseed Center for Law and Justice alleges the Wichita Police Department use of a gang list has disproportionately harmed communities of color. According to the lawsuit, criteria to be added to the list are “vague and broad and encompass […]

In Kansas fight over anti-trans sports bill, Senate adds civility to casualty list

BY: - April 15, 2021

TOPEKA — Asia Jynaé Foster. Yunieski Carey Herrera. Angel Unique. Sara Blackwood. Brooklyn Deshuna. Felycya Harris. Michelle Michellyn Ramos Vargas. Mia Green. Aerrion Burnett. Kee Sam. Lea Rayshon Daye. Aja Raquell Rhone-Spears. Queasha D Hardy. Dior H Ova. Marilyn Cazares. Summer Taylor. Bree Black. Shaki Peters. Merci Mack. Brayla Stone. Brian “Egypt’ Powers. Selena Reyes-Hernandez. […]

Vaccine equity panel highlights need for local persuasion in Kansas communities

BY: - April 14, 2021

TOPEKA — Members of a newly formed Kansas COVID-19 vaccine equity panel say misinformation and distrust are among the most pressing factors creating racial and ethnic disparities among those who have been vaccinated. About 35% of all Kansans have received at least one dose of the vaccine with 1,617,994 total doses administered. However, the discrepancies […]

The Kansas Department of Corrections says the vacancy rate for uniformed officers at Lansing Correctional Facility was 27.8%, a shortage of 88 personnel. The prison was site of a violent inmate disturbance Friday in the maximum-security unit. (Kansas Relector screen capture from Google Maps street view)

Kansas man battling terminal cancer released from Lansing prison

BY: - April 13, 2021

TOPEKA — Christopher McIntyre, a 47-year-old with terminal stage four cancer, was released Tuesday from Lansing Correctional Facility as part of a clemency effort by the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas. McIntyre was one of 105 inmates working with the ACLU of Kansas to request some form of executive clemency. Late last week, McIntyre’s […]

Lawmakers finalize effort to limit mail voting in Kansas

BY: - April 12, 2021

TOPEKA — A pair of election bills passed by the Legislature to limit advance voting options and restrict the authority to change election law prompted passionate debate in the Senate and House. House Bill 2183, opposed by voting rights activists, would restrict the number of advance ballots an individual may deliver on behalf of others […]

Kansas Legislature endorses Gadsden flag license plate supporting state rifle association

BY: - April 12, 2021

TOPEKA — A bundle of new distinctive license plates passed last week by the Kansas Legislature has drawn criticism for the inclusion of a plate design with ties to a former slave owner. House Bill 2166 authorizes the creation of several new plates to support various organizations, including the production of a plate modeled after the […]

Up to 100 new immigration judges would be added under Biden budget request

BY: - April 11, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Friday released a budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year that would increase the number of immigration judges and allocate millions in funding to clear backlogs of hearings and asylum requests. The administration is grappling with an influx of asylum seekers at the Southern border after inheriting a gutted […]

Kansas Senate bans transgender athletes from women’s sports, sends bill to governor

BY: - April 9, 2021

TOPEKA — Kansas could lose hundreds of millions of tourism dollars should the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act become law. The controversial measure requires school-sponsored sports programs to designate each team based on the biological sex of team members. The bill was at the center of a heated debate Friday morning before it passed the Senate, […]

Sen. Richard Hilderbrand, R-Baxter Springs, and Sen. J.R. Claeys, R-Salina, took the lead in advancing a pair of bills broadening possession of concealed firearms and adding an NRA-sponsored gun safety program to Kansas public school curriculum options. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas Senate welcomes teens to concealed-gun club, pulls trigger on NRA-backed school curriculum

BY: - April 8, 2021

The GOP-led Kansas Senate rallied behind bills placing an NRA gun safety curriculum in public schools and lowering the concealed-gun age limit to 18.

Kansas House passes revived effort to ban transgender athletes from women’s sports

BY: - April 8, 2021

TOPEKA — In an impassioned speech late Thursday, Rep. Brandon Woodard called on Kansas House colleagues to reject the notion a bill banning transgender athletes from women’s sports would create a level playing field, saying it would instead send a negligent message almost certainly leading to bullying. The Lenexa Democrat said the Fairness in Women’s […]

Kobach meets with Pennsylvania Republicans to talk election, immigration policy

BY: - April 7, 2021

Pennsylvania Republican legislators met with a controversial, Trump-aligned former Kansas elected official on Tuesday night to discuss model legislation on election policy, among other topics. The session, organized by arch-conservative Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, included former Kansas Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach, an unspecified number of GOP lawmakers, as well as the state House […]