‘Long time coming’: Rally calls for federal investigation of Kansas City, Kansas police

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Calls for the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department to be the subject of a federal investigation were raised Monday by social justice leaders and families that say they are the victims of police misconduct that has spanned decades.

Roughly a dozen people stood in front of Kansas City, Kansas City Hall on Monday afternoon calling for the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department. The rallying cry comes as former Detective Roger Golubski, who is embroiled in controversy over many allegations of corruption, is being investigated by federal authorities.

Ricee Cade, a community organizer with MORE2, a social justice organization, said area activists continue to plead for a deeper investigation of the department that goes beyond Golubski.

“Many women have suffered, women have lost their lives, families have been ran out of Wyandotte County, all to protect a member of the police department,” Cade said. “And that is not how you protect and serve a community.”

Rev. Rick Behrens of Grandview Park Presbyterian Church in Kansas City, Kansas, encouraged those in the community to join a petition calling for the investigation. And he said now is time “to keep up the pressure.”

“Part of that pressure comes with us reflecting on the moment, and knowing that this is the time for us to act. So thank you to everyone here today who is active, who has spoken up. It’s time for all of us to speak up,” Behrens said.

The call comes amid renewed attention aimed at Golubski, a 35-year veteran of the department. Golubski is accused of using his badge to sexually exploit Black sex workers and in some cases coerce false testimony in homicide cases he investigated. In one case, Lamonte McIntyre was exonerated of a double murder he did not commit after he spent 23 years behind bars.

Last week, news was reported of a criminal grand jury investigation into Golubski that has been initiated by federal prosecutors. It was welcomed by many social justice activists and organizers.

The Kansas City, Kansas Police Department has said responses have been made to subpoenas from the FBI in regard to Golubski since 2019. The department has said its cooperation with federal authorities was not disclosed earlier to prevent interference with the investigation.

Meanwhile, other families say they continue to await justice for loved ones mistreated or cast aside by the criminal justice system.

Among those speaking Monday was Kendra Wright, whose aunt, Rose Calvin, was murdered in 1996. The killing remains unsolved after 15 years, and the family has questioned whether Golubski lied to them during the investigation.

Separately, the family believes their relative John Keith Calvin, convicted of murder in 2002, was wrongfully convicted because of the police department’s investigation. Calvin, 54, is currently serving a life sentence in the Kansas Department of Corrections.

Star Cooper, whose mother Dorothy Cooper was killed in 1983, said she is thankful now to see that her voice is being heard after spending years getting “nowhere” to reinvigorate an investigation of her death. She has long believed there was information about her mother’s killing withheld by Golubski and the department. And she hopes to see justice done in her mother’s case someday soon.

“That will be a blessing for me and my family,” Cooper said. “It’s been a long time coming.”

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