Citizens express concerns about unequal treatment when it comes - KCTV5

Citizens express concerns about unequal treatment when it comes to open carry at protests

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During a Police Board of Commissioners meeting in the Northland on Tuesday, a group of concerned citizens expressed their concerns about unequal treatment when it comes to open carry at protests. (KCTV5) During a Police Board of Commissioners meeting in the Northland on Tuesday, a group of concerned citizens expressed their concerns about unequal treatment when it comes to open carry at protests. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

During a Police Board of Commissioners meeting in the Northland on Tuesday, a group of concerned citizens expressed their concerns about unequal treatment when it comes to open carry at protests. 

Keith Brown-El was one of the protesters.

“I wanted to express my concerns about the way that the Kansas City police department is handling situations that could potentially turn catastrophic,” Brown-El said.

According to Brown-El, there have been a number of protests in Kansas City where militia members have been present openly carrying handguns and rifles.

“The police were essentially allowing people to bring high powered weapons into these areas, into the parks where people have their children and their family members and it endangers the welfare of the community,” Brown-El said.

Some protestors have even considering carrying guns themselves for protection.

During the meeting, protesters voiced concerns the police invited the militia members to the demonstrations to serve as an intimidation tactic.

“Though they’re trying to say they didn’t invite these protestors to these rallies,” Brown-El said.

In a blog post written by Police Chief Rick Smith, he said those rumors are not true.

In the blog post he wrote, "Despite online rumors and conspiracy theories, let me be clear that the Kansas City Missouri Police Department never invites any person or groups to a demonstration."

However, protestors don’t agree and they say there is also unfair treatment regarding who can carry a weapon at these protests.

During a Sept. 9 protest, Sgt. Kari Thompson said police officers enforced an ordinance against the two groups stating neither side could conceal and carry without a permit.

If they did not have a permit, they were asked to remove the ammunition from their weapons.

“As a reminder, the police are at these functions only for the safety and security of those that attend. We are not there to interject our beliefs or feelings. We are only there to maintain safety,” Thompson said.  

Even if you have a permit and are allowed to bring your weapons to these protests, police ask you to think twice about whether or not it's a good idea. 

To read KCPD Police Chief Rick Smith’s full blog post, click here

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