More than 30 people gave testimonies during the nearly two-hour hearing. With more than 100 people in attendance, the chamber reached the maximum occupancy allowed under Mayor Quinton Lucas’ 50% pandemic occupancy rule.
Chloe Cooper, co-founder of the Kansas City Community Bail Fund, shared her experience bailing protestors out of jail. “We would see their battered bodies, bloody faces,” she said. “Some showing us videos of them standing on the curb shouting Black Lives Matter and being drug out into the street like a dog and flipped over like they’re nothing.”
Brad Lemon, President of the Fraternal Order of Police, testified against the ordinance. He reminded the committee that some protestors threw five-pound stones that crushed police officer’s helmets and put them in hospitals. “If this is what you do today, police officers down the road are going to look at this and realize that there wasn’t support to stop violent protests,” Lemon said.
Ellington said the ordinance would actually not eradicate someone who assaulted a police officer, although he said the majority of the infractions were people who were peacefully protesting.
Justice Horn, a local activist, testified for the ordinance and said he was embarrassed for Kansas City. “No one should have to suffer or be punished for progress we’ve made as a community and as a city,” he said.