gun violence

Kansas City’s new Citizen Task Force on Violence is up and rolling as it confronts the difficult question of why there’s so much violence in the metro. The committee had its first meeting last week, amid another spike in homicides in recent weeks.

Guests:

KMBC

Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forté is starting the year with his hands full, after another streak of violent crime.

So far, the city has seen eight homicides in the first ten days of January. This, following a particularly deadly end of 2015.

“I’ve been concerned (about violence) my entire life as a young male growing up in Kansas City," Forté told host Steve Kraske on Up to Date. "I stay awake at night I think, ‘Darryl what else can you do?’” 

As legislators go back to work in Kansas this month, there’s one thing on everyone’s mind—the budget. Tax cuts have left the state scrambling to find enough money to cover its programs. We discuss that and how President Obama's statements on gun violence apply to Kansas on this edition of Up to Date.

Guests:

  • Sen. David Haley, a Democrat from Kansas City, Kan.
  • Rep. Stephanie Clayton, a Republican from Overland Park
Cody Newill / KCUR 89.3

Dozens of Kansas Citians dressed in bright orange protested against gun violence on Sunday, the eve of the third anniversary of the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

The protesters lined the median along Ward Parkway outside the Country Club Christian Church. The event was part of activist group Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America's nationwide "Orange Walks." 

University of Kansas film professor Kevin Willmott's latest movie, CHI-RAQ has opened to lots of buzz. Steve Kraske and the film critics talk to the screenwriter about what he and co-writer Spike Lee were trying to say in this film. 

Losing a loved one to violence is extremely difficult, but family members of the deceased are turning to each other not only for support but to enact change. KC Mothers In Charge, now in its second year, is leading a special effort in that direction. On this edition of Up to Date, we learn how the group is working to make Kansas City safer for its children.  

Guests:

Elle Moxley / KCUR

Kansas City Mayor Sly James recited a list of wins for the city at a press conference Wednesday.

Alex Smith / Heartland Health Monitor

This story was rebroadcast as part of our best-of 2015 series. It was originally reported in October 2015.   

Near a greasy spoon restaurant in the Quindaro neighborhood of Kansas City, Kansas, two young men were killed in a drive-by shooting on a sunny afternoon earlier this year. Two more killings after what had already been a violent stretch of months.

Pastor Sheldrick Walker was in his church a few miles away when he got the news from fellow pastor Adrion Roberson.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

Since October, four children have died in drive-by shootings in Kansas City. What's going on, and what are the first steps we can take to work against this trend? A physician, a criminologist, and a mother weigh in. Race, opportunity in life, gun safety and witness protection play into the discussion. 

"When they took my son's life," says Roslyn Temple, "That's the worst thing they could have ever done to me. ... That was my child."

Guests:

As Kansas City prepared for the spotlight of the World Series, a little girl stepped out of a local convenience store. A car drove by, someone fired shots, and in seconds, six-year old Angel Hooper was dead. In the days since her murder, the Kansas City Police Department has received only two tips in its investigation.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Sly James and other city officials gathered near 44th Street and Montgall Avenue Tuesday morning to blast gun legislation state lawmakers will consider in Jefferson City on Wednesday.

Missouri legislators already approved a package of gun law changes that would let 19-year-olds obtain concealed carry permits, bar cities from enacting open carry ordinances and allow school districts to arm designated classroom teachers.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR

The homicide epidemic among young black men on Kansas City’s east side is leaving a generation of grieving teens in its wake, and some in the crime-fighting community feel black churches need to change their message to better help these young people deal with their loss.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

The day after a harrowing series of shootings at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom, Central Standard convenes community leaders to take the first steps toward healing and understanding. Do we find answers in spirituality? Ethics? Shared humanity and friendship? Tune in for this half-hour segment to hear how Kansas City's communities are responding to a tragic act of targeted violence.

Guests:

Laura Spencer / KCUR

Shootings at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom retirement home in Overland Park, Kan. became international news overnight as new details about the tragedy emerged.

Authorities have been learning about the racist and anti-Semitic ideology of the suspect, Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., who hate-group trackers have been following for years.

Laura Spencer / KCUR

Updated 10:47 a.m.:

Frazier Glenn Cross, the suspect in Sunday's shootings, is being held at the Johnson County Detention Center without bond. Kristi Bergeron, of the District Attorney's Office in Johnson County said he will not be arraigned Monday.

He will face both federal and state charges.

Updated 10:36 a.m.:

The Children's Center for the Visually Impaired released this statement: