Hundreds rally in Topeka to ‘back the blue’ in clash with Black Lives Matter
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 […]
Politics, misinformation undermine Topeka debate on police reform
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
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
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
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 […]