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Thu January 30, 2014
Kansas City Police Chief Answers Racial Bias Questions
Kansas City's police chief answered questions about bias in enforcement of the city's youth curfew Wednesday. Chief Darryl Forte gave his report to a city council committee.
Only 62 young people were hauled in city-wide for curfew violations last year, and only 20 of those involved congregating and rowdy behavior in entertainment districts.
But the fact that about 90 percent were African-American caused concern for some council members. Chief Forte' said those concerns were unfounded.
"The reason the numbers are like this is because these people violate the law. We did a check on all the officers involved – entire city. Not one complaint had anything to do with bias-based policing,"Forte told the committee.
Forte added that his officers do their best to avoid arrests and citations involving the curfew, and that sometimes it takes up to 10 hours to make contact with a responsible adult.
Councilman Jermaine Reed said he understood that some of the kids were trouble makers, but didn't seem satisfied that there was no racial bias. John Sharp said maybe the focus should be on behavior, not time. Scott Taylor opined that irresponsible parenting is to blame. No one commented on another statistic: 77 percent of the kids picked up for curfew violation were girls.