Protestors called for the termination of Kansas City Police Chief Terry Zeigler during a march held in downtown Kansas City last week. In what they called a “March for Justice,” the protestors asked the Wyandotte Unified Commission to respond to “decades of misconduct” within the department by firing the chief. They also called for an investigation into the full department by the U.S. Department of Justice, for an investigation into former KCK Officer Roger Golubski by the FBI and for an independent hotline to report police misconduct.
The call for action was in part a response to the filing of a lawsuit against the department by a former KCK police department cadet. In the lawsuit, the trainee said she was fired after she complained she was sexually harassed and touched by Steven Rios, who was convicted of misdemeanor battery and retired after the complaint.
“This will only begin to fix a problem caused by decades of corruption and negligence. We will stand to see this through,” said the Rev. Dr. Bobby Love of Second Baptist Church in Olathe.
The protest was organized by the Metro Organizations for Racial and Economic Equity (MORE2), who say the department has a culture of protecting bad cops.
Last year, a federal lawsuit was filed against the department for permitting Det. Golubski to “terrorize an entire community – by using his badge to extort sexual favors from poor Black women and by coercing and manipulating those women into providing fabricated evidence to close his cases.”
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Lamonte McIntrye and his mother. McIntrye was exonerated in 2017 after serving a 23-year-sentence for a double murder. He was convicted even though no physical evidence, gun or motive tied him to the murders. The lawsuit claims McIntyre’s conviction was a retaliation for his mother changing her number and no longer responding to Golubski.
At the time these allegations occurred, Chief Zeigler was Golubski’s partner.
“We can’t fool ourselves into thinking Lamonte’s was an isolated case,” said the Rev. Rick Behrens of Grandview Park Presbyterian Church, KCK. The family of John Calvin told the crowd that their loved one has been in prison 17 years for a murder another man confessed to.
At the rally Rose Calvin claimed Golubski took advantage of her. And that John is just another of his victims.
The Police Department issued a statement in response to the protest. While they would not comment on the lawsuits, they did say a hotline (913-573-6373) does exist for citizens to report police misconduct. And that the department will cooperate with any outside investigation “as we are confident we meet or exceed currently accepted practices/standards in law enforcement regarding how we handle citizen complaints through the Internal Affairs process.”