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Thu November 15, 2007
Black Family Sues KCK Police for Discrimination
By Sylvia Maria Gross
Kansas City, MO – Nine Kansas City Kansas residents filed a federal lawsuit yesterday against six white police officers for violating their civil rights at a teenager's birthday party two years ago. The black family says police raided the basement party for no reason, assaulted some of the residents and used racial slurs. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross has more.
Gerene Hamilton says there were about 30 people at the Friday night party in her basement, no alcohol or drugs and just a small CD player. She says police came in through the back and told everyone to go home. Hamilton says they pushed her daughter, who was one of the adult chaperones.
GERENE HAMILTON: We was asking, why were you pushing her down, you know, what did she do?
The lawsuit claims police assaulted others at the party, used pepper spray and kept two young teenagers in custody over a weekend. All but one of the charges against the plaintiffs were cleared. FBI spokesman Jeff Lanza says KCK police requested an investigation of the incident, but the family wouldn't participate.
JEFF LANZA: So it never got to the point where we could determine any facts because no one was forthcoming with the facts.
The family's lawyer says he thinks a civil lawsuit will be a more effective way to uncover what actually happened.