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Media were notified about police defunding before police chief

The office of Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas notified local media of the plan to slash police funding before notifying Police Chief Rick Smith, according to emails obtained by Liberty Alliance USA. The emails also reveal an unethical relationship between Lucas and a local TV station.

The office emailed “near-final drafts” of the two police defunding ordinances to a “Kansas City Star” reporter at 8:58 a.m. on May 20, telling him they still needed “FINAL approval from our Legal Department on language.”  It was not until hours after the media had copies in hand and shortly before his press conference that Lucas emailed Smith the two ordinances and told him he had nine council sponsors.

A spokesperson for the embattled Mayor Lucas, Morgan Said, acknowledged the media was notified first. “The mayor himself did not contact the press,” she contended.

The emails can be viewed HERE.

“Mayor Lucas illegally took $42 million from the Kansas City Police Department and his office told their puppets in the media about it before Chief Smith,” said Chris Vas, Liberty Alliance executive director. “It has been clear that Mayor Lucas does not respect or appreciate the hardworking officers of the Kansas City Police Department, but this is low, even for him.”

Other emails obtained by Liberty Alliance show that the mayor’s office was unhappy with TV news coverage of the move to divert $42 million from the police, with the mayor’s staff objecting to the use of the phrase “defunding the police.” A staffer emailed a KSHB producer to complain about coverage on the 10 p.m. news broadcast. She reminded him that she “talked through this for nearly 45 minutes and the story still cites this as ‘defunding the police.’” She asked the producer to “convey what we discussed to your team so it’s reflected in y’all’s coverage,” to which the news producer replied, “Can do. Thanks again for all your help. I hope your sushi was yummy. Killer.”

Liberty Alliance said it will continue to release documents obtained in Sunshine Law requests.

The emails between KSHB and the Mayor’s office prove unethical and possibly illegal actions between the station and the city government. Some are already saying it violates the state’s Sunshine Law. Facebook users have been posting responses on KSHB’s page.

Liberty Alliance is encouraging the public to call the Mayor’s office at (816) 513-3500 and tell him to restore the police funding.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice