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Mayor Lucas: DOJ investigation of the Kansas City Police Department is 'a very big deal'

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas stood with local faith leaders as he announced a push to return local control of the Kansas City Police Department.
Lisa Rodriguez
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says "it is not impossible to change the way these things are" when it comes to diversity at the Kansas City Police Department. He cites Miami and Los Angeles as cities who have built more diverse police forces.

"I think we need to do a better job of understanding what are the concerns — particularly of Black officers," says Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas in response to the Department of Justice's probe into the Kansas City Police Department.

The Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation into the Kansas City Police Department following allegations of racism and harassment within the department.

Mayor Quinton Lucas says the investigation should be welcomed, because he believes the Board of Police Commissioners needs to do a better job of understanding the concerns of Black officers.

"If you have a groundswell of Black officers or Latino officers or women who are saying, well, y'know, I don't feel like I was able to get the same opportunities as others, as has been claimed, then I think that has a huge impact on our ability to recruit Blacks outside of the department now to get new people in," says Lucas.

He joined KCUR's Up To Date to discuss the investigation, the city's new plan to address homelessness, the potential for a new Royals stadium in downtown Kansas City and other topics.

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
As Up To Date’s senior producer, I construct daily conversations that give our listeners context to the issues of our time. I strive to provide a platform that holds those in power accountable, while also spotlighting the voices of Kansas City’s creatives and visionaries that may otherwise go unheard. Email me at zach@kcur.org.
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