homicide

Cody Newill / KCUR 89.3

Frustrations ran high at the Citizen Task Force on Violence's first listening session Saturday morning, as several dozen Kansas Citians spoke out on how to curb violence in the city.

William Thomas, a probation officer in Johnson County, summed up what many of the attendees want out of the task force: a concerted effort before its self-imposed November deadline.

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.

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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?’” 

Dan Verbeck / KCUR

None of the houses Kansas City Councilwoman Alissia Canady lived in growing up east of Troost are occupied.

Most of the schools she attended have closed.

“When you look at the areas where violent crime is occurring, you see vacant and abandoned houses, high concentrations of poverty, lack of basic resources and poor education,” Canady said Tuesday at the first meeting of the Citizens Task Force Against Violence. “It’s almost like it’s the formula for violence.”

Canady grew up in the Third District and now represents the Fifth.

Cody Newill / KCUR 89.3

Dozens of families who've suffered loss due to homicide came to the Lucile Bluford branch of the Kansas City Public Library for gifts, food and support Saturday. 

The AdHoc Group Against Crime and Laura E. Mason Foundation organized the Toys for Tots event to help children suffering after the death of loved ones. Organizer Nae-na Oliver has personal experience dealing with homicide and the influence it can have on kids.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

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

Elle Moxley / KCUR

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker describes the Kansas City No Violence Alliance not as a program, but as a “mission shift” for how the city tackles violence.

“We don’t expect 40 years of violence to recede in one year or two years or three years,” Peters Baker says.

Peters Baker, along with Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Sly James and several of NoVA’s partners will testify before the U.S. Senate Law Enforcement Caucus in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

The Jackson County Prosecutor has charged a 22-year-old Kansas City man in last week’s triple homicide.

Jean Peters Baker says multiple witnesses linked Joseph L. Nelson to the Sept. 8 murders of Bianca Fletcher, her 1-year-old son and boyfriend, Shannon Rollins.

Kansas City police are investigating a shooting that took the lives of three people Tuesday night in south Kansas City, one of them an infant. This is the fourth deadly shooting in the city in the past week.

Cody Newill / KCUR

Activists and LGBT community members held a memorial service for Tamara Dominguez, a 36-year-old transgender, Latina woman who was brutally run over three times in a parking lot Aug. 15. 

Dozens showed up to the service in Westport, which was organized by the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project and Una Lucha KC. Many placed red roses, a favorite of Dominguez's, on a pedestal next to an alter covered in candles and pictures.

Cody Newill / KCUR

Kris Wade remembers 33-year-old Jasmine Collins, as a "young person, out there, struggling to survive on her own." 

Collins, a transgender woman, was stabbed to death in June.

Wade had known Collins for about a year as part of the Justice Project, a non-profit that provides advocacy and services to transgender women in poverty, among others.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment has received a federal grant of almost $1 million to help the CDC develop strategies to reduce the number of violent deaths, and the state will share homicide and suicide data with the National Violent Death Reporting System for five years.

The system delves into not just how these deaths happen, but why. It collects data on homicides such as the relationship between the victim and the suspect. In cases of suicide, it gathers details on depression, financial stress, and relationship problems.

An Independence, Missouri woman and a Kansas City, Kansas man have become the third and fourth people charged in a triple murder during an Independence home invasion.

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Two men and a woman have been murdered in an Independence, Missouri home invasion and police have a partial description of the killers, saying that a surviving victim was able to describe the attackers.

The Kansas City (Missouri) Police Department searched far and wide for a new chief last year. Finally, they chose from within its ranks: Darryl Forté.

Tuesday on Up to Date, Steve Kraske welcomed Chief Forté to talk about Kansas City's consistently-high homicide rate, community policing, and his background.