Kansas City honors civil rights leader Leon Jordan - KCTV5 News

Kansas City honors civil rights leader Leon Jordan

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There is a push to rename the Kansas City Police Department's East Patrol Division after a man who left his mark in that area.

Civil rights leader, politician and businessman Leon Jordan was killed 44 years ago on Prospect Avenue outside the Green Duck Lounge and Grill, a club he owned.

He has been called one of the most influential African Americans in Kansas City's history.

More than 200 people gathered Tuesday to celebrate the legacy of Jordan, remembering the man who helped mold their lives.

"I will never forget the night he was assassinated. I got a call from a friend who said we lost our friend," community leader Alvin Brooks said. "His legacy lives on in the minds of us he helped along the way."

Brooks remembers Jordan as a role model. He went to the former police detective before deciding to join the force himself in 1954.

Racism in the 60s was rampant in Kansas City, leading Jordan and Bruce R. Watkins to create Freedom Inc., an organization to create political awareness among African Americans in Kansas City.

"I'm still holding on to what we tried to start and hope it will continue," Rosemary Lowe said. "Nobody knows the sacrifice he done ... without him we wouldn't be where we are today."

Now, they are hoping to take it one step further - passing out petitions to rename the East Patrol Division after Jordan so everyone will remember the man who changed a generation.

"Give them something they want to grow up for. At this point, they have little to grow up and look forward to," Lowe said.

The group is hoping to get 10,000 signatures to motivate the city to act and consider a motion or an ordinance.

If you would like to sign the petition, the Watkins Foundation said they will collect them from the Green Duck Lounge and Grill and area churches will also start an initiative to get signatures.

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