When Kansas City law enforcement is called to a scene as part of an investigation, one of the main concerns in many communities is that they will overstep their boundaries and commit civil rights violations. This can make matters worse for a person who is arrested for any crime large or small. Civil rights violations can be relevant regardless of the case and the level of the offense, misdemeanor or felony. A recent analysis examined police departments based on their level of discriminatory behavior and violence. Kansas City was one of the worst. This should be considered when claiming the police acted inappropriately as it can be a fundamental part of a defense.
Out of 500 police departments studied, Kansas City was 495th
Using publicly available information, researchers compiled the numbers for law enforcement transgressions. Of the 500 departments it studied, Kansas City came in at 495th, making it one of the worst departments of all. From 2012 to 2020, the department had more killings for every arrest than 98% of police departments that were of comparable size. Black people in the city were 4.3 times more vulnerable than white people to this type of death at the hands of law enforcement. Activists have long lamented the problem and this research bolsters what they have been saying.
The strategies that are used by Kansas City law enforcement are viewed as the catalyst for people in the Black community being targeted. For its part, the police department replied through a spokesman saying that the study may not be valid. Between 2013 and 2019, greater than 50% of arrests were due to low-level crimes. Three percent of complaints about police mistreatment were found to be valid. These numbers and the anecdotal evidence are worrisome as the department’s tactics and statements about the reports indicate that they are not willing to change even with this scrutiny on alleged civil rights violations.
A civil rights violation can be used as part of a criminal defense
While there is no doubt that law enforcement is necessary in any society, it does not mean that police have the right to violate civil rights by conducting warrantless searches, refusing to let a suspect speak to a lawyer, committing violence or even killing a person who is being investigated. Whether the arrest is for driving under the influence, drug offenses, assault, theft or any other reason, it is imperative to assess the entire case when crafting a defense. Civil rights violations should not be allowed to go by unaddressed or unpunished. Consulting with those who are experienced with these situations can help with determining the path forward.