Civil Rights

New Kansas data set shows ICE targets thousands annually who committed no crime

BY: - December 17, 2020

TOPEKA — Thousands of people who are arrested or removed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement have no criminal conviction or just a minor traffic offense, according to records compiled into a new statewide data tool made available by the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas. Information sourced from the Syracuse TRAC system details the number […]

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt asserted President Joe Biden's attempt to compel federal contractors to employ vaccinated workers was a cynical attempt to outpace judicial review. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

AG warns Legislature to take final votes in person at meetings in Topeka, or risk legal challenge

BY: - December 15, 2020

Kansas AG opinion says Legislature amid COVID-19 must meet in the city of Topeka and take final action votes in person at a meeting place.

KCC orders utilities to keep waiving fees, offer payment plans for overdue bills

BY: - December 15, 2020

TOPEKA — The Kansas Corporation Commission on Tuesday extended a mandate requiring utilities to offer 12-month payment plans and waive late fees for those struggling to pay their bills. The commission, which oversees public utilities in the state, issued the original order in May, and it was set to expire at the end of the […]

Repeat 911 caller in Topeka targeted people of color several times before officer hurt boy

BY: - December 13, 2020

TOPEKA — Dispatch call logs indicate a Topeka woman has made more than a dozen 911 calls in the past two years — several targeting people of color — the most recent of which culminated with a police officer handcuffing a Black, 14-year-old boy with autism and roughly forcing him to the ground for having […]

Former Shawnee County prosecutor Jacqie Spradling admitted during a disciplinary hearing in this Topeka office building on charges of ethical misconduct that she denied fair trials to a Shawnee County murder defendant and a Jackson County rape defendant. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas prosecutor accused of ethical misconduct concedes to denying two defendants fair trials

BY: - December 10, 2020

Kansas prosecutor in hot water for misleading juries in murder and rape cases since overturned admits to denying defendants fair trials.

The internal investigation report by the Kansas Department of Administration of allegations against Kansas Highway Patrol Col. Herman Jones found in March that complaints of three women "cannot be categorized as sexual harassment." (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Internal state investigation of KHP superintendent: Col. Jones’ conduct not sexual harassment

BY: - December 9, 2020

Document shows Kansas Department of Administration concluded in March allegations against KHP Col. Herman Jones didn't constitute sexual harassment.

The Kansas Supreme Court reversed a decision by the Kansas Court of Appeals without outlining boundaries of the Kansas Open Records Act as it pertained to audio records of district court proceedings. (Kansas Supreme Court/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas defense attorney labels death penalty ‘peak horror’ of racism in justice system

BY: - December 7, 2020

Three opponents of capital punishment urge repeal of a Kansas death penalty law anchored in the justice system's legacy of racism.

Two majors in the Kansas Highway Patrol dismissed in July filed a federal lawsuit alleging wrongful termination and violation of their First Amendment constitutional rights. The former officers allege they were retaliated against for helping female KHP employees file complaints of sexual harassment and gender discrimination against KHP Col. Herman Jones and Lt. Col. Jason De Vore. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Two former KHP majors file lawsuit, claim dismissals echo warning not to be ‘subversive’

BY: - December 5, 2020

Two former Kansas Highway Patrol majors file federal lawsuit claiming wrongful termination and alleging sexual harassment of female employees.

The Kansas Department of Corrections says a 12th inmate incarcerated in state prison facilities died of COVID-19. The latest was a 62-year-old man at Hutchinson Correctional Facility. (Getty Images)

Detainees say private prison denies COVID-19 tests, treatment while awaiting trial

BY: - November 30, 2020

TOPEKA — People awaiting trial at CoreCivic’s Leavenworth prison for federal detainees say the private company has failed to provide adequate testing or medical care amid an “uncontrolled outbreak” of COVID-19. First-person accounts and court documents reveal the facility’s staff hasn’t provided testing for detainees who were exposed to the virus and in some cases […]

Kansas post-election audit shows no signs of foul play in record-breaking election

BY: - November 30, 2020

TOPEKA — Kansas election officials say the record-breaking 2020 general election avoided any major issues or discrepancies despite unpredictable circumstances amid COVID-19. The Kansas State Board of Canvassers — composed of the governor, secretary of state and attorney general — met Monday to certify election results in a year that saw historic turnout. This year, […]

A Kansas Department of Administration inquiry shows Kansas Highway Patrol insiders engaged in a coup attempt to oust KHP Col. Herman Jones and four other top KHP officers considered loyal to him. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas audit finds no evidence of rule violations in dismissal of two KHP majors

BY: - November 30, 2020

The Kansas Legislature's auditors find no evidence Kansas Highway Patrol personnel policy was violated in firing of two KHP majors in July.

OPINION

By facing more of its racist truths, Kansas — and America — could heal more of its divides

BY: - November 30, 2020

One night in January 1901, nearly 6,000 angry Kansans gathered outside the Leavenworth County Jail. Inside was Fred Alexander, a Black man and a veteran of the Spanish-American War, who’d been accused of rape and murder of a white woman. Someone in the crowd used a sledgehammer to break into Alexander’s cell and “attacked him […]