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Jay-Z’s Roc Nation files suit against KCKPD seeking records on police misconduct investigations



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    KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) — The Kansas City, Kansas Police Department is now under national scrutiny, accused of covering up complaints of misconduct.

Lawyers with rapper Jay-Z’s social justice organization, Roc Nation, filed a lawsuit Monday against the Unified Government seeking documents about complaints that they’ve been denied.

The lawsuit cites numerous cases of misconduct, criminal and otherwise, that have made the news over the years. Yet, the lawsuit claims, nothing has changed. It argues that the organization, in the public interest, wants to find out how widespread the problem is as well as how to address it but they’re being denied the documents they need to do that.

“I just feel like a light has opened up in the sky,” said Khadijah Hardaway upon hearing the news.

Hardaway has been advocating for victims of KCK police for more than a year now.

“Wyandotte County has been suffering for over four decades at the hands of the police department,” she said.

One of the cases cited in the suit was what led to the wrongful murder conviction of Lamonte McIntyre. McIntyre was imprisoned for 23 years, since the age of 17.

The Unified Government and retired police captain Roger Golubski are now being sued by McIntyre and his mother. That suit alleges Golubski had a decades-long history of exploiting black women for sex, including McIntyre’s mother, and claims he manufactured evidence against her son as retribution for her rejecting one of his advances.

Today’s lawsuit asking a judge to demand the release of certain records says Golubski’s behavior was an open secret. The petition filed by Roc Nation speaks of a “blue code of silence” and argues the only way to root out corruption is to shed light on at how things are handled.

According to the court filing, among the records requested were complaints filed against and with the KCKPD’s investigative division, as well as related documents on investigations and disciplinary actions.

The suit says the Unified Government agreed to release documents on complaints but denied the requests on investigation and disciplinary documents citing state law protecting “disclosure of personnel records.”

The suit says the denied records are essential “to determine whether complaints are being seriously addressed and whether there is sufficient oversight and supervision over the KCKPD.”

“I feel like the fact that the door is open, and there’s so many victims in Wyandotte, and hopefully, in their spirit, they’ll be wanting to bust down the door,” said Hardaway.

Hardaway is bolstered by having Jay-Z’s team on board and hopes it will eventually lead to something even bigger: a Justice Department investigation.

“It’s great when anybody is telling your story. It’s another thing when they actually take the steps, legally, to start that process,” Hardaway said.

The KCKPD issued a statement on the court filing that reads as follows:

“The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, KS has received notice that Roc Nation has filed a petition for a writ of mandamus in the Wyandotte County District Court today regarding an earlier open records request. The Unified Government has previously produced hundreds of the requested records per the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) with some exceptions. KORA does not require the disclosure of personnel records and criminal investigation records, for example, without specific circumstances. In response, Roc Nation has filed a 28-page petition stating there is a special interest in disclosing all records so the public can seek justice. Once the petition has been thoroughly reviewed, the Unified Government will follow up by filing a response.”

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