Advocates say it’s time to review all of Golubski’s cases

Families and advocates question the lack of action and point to other communities that did mass reviews when corruption came to light.
Published: Oct. 10, 2022 at 4:39 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 10, 2022 at 11:37 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (KCTV) - Calls for a full review of retired KCK detective Roger Golubski’s cases continue to grow.

Families and advocates question the lack of action and point to other communities that did mass reviews when corruption came to light.

“It shouldn’t take this long,” said Tricia Rojo Bushnell, Director of the Midwest Innocence Project. “People are still being hurt and it can’t just be okay.”

Bushnell points to how long allegations have been known. Lamonte McIntyre was exonerated five years ago.

His attorneys laid out a revenge plot that involved sexual assaults of poor Black women, including McIntyre’s own mother.

“Let’s look at justice for an entire community,” said Bushnell. “Well, what are the resources needed for that? It certainly can’t be one conviction review unit saying, ‘We’ve got this right.’ We know the sheer size is going to require infinite resources and they need to come from the outside.”

Reaction to corruption — a tale of two cities

Other communities have grappled with police corruption but nothing as dramatic as the allegations out of Kansas City, Kansas.

Chicago is an example. Police Sgt. Ronald Watts resigned in disgrace and eventually served prison time, accused of framing people an extorting money from drug dealers. His conviction led to a thorough review of cases. Because of questionable convictions, 220 people have had their cases tossed out.

But in Kansas City, Kansas — where a police captain is accused of extortion and framing people, and is facing federal charges related to rape and kidnapping — only one case has been tossed and that was McIntyre’s.

Golubski was with KCK for decades. He became a captain and his partner became the police chief. It’s unclear how many cases he touched as detective and supervisor.

We asked District Attorney Mark Dupree to speak with us. He declined an in-person interview. We followed up with an email and asked, “Any comment regarding reviewing Golubski cases?”

The reply from the DA’s media spokesperson was a short, “None.”

Bushnell says she has had the same response.

Families openly question why more isn’t being done.

McIntyre weighs in

“To not look at it, at this point, come on!” said McIntyre. “It’s criminal at this point because you know who is involved. You can’t act like it’s not there. It’s there.”

McIntyre now fights for others. He goes to rallies and does interviews to keep the public’s attention on the cases.

“The federal people came and got him!” said McIntyre. “So, that’s a real thing. It happened. So, why not look at it? Don’t you think it warrants some type of investigation?”

If you wonder what else could be there, consider a deposition recently obtained by KCTV5.

KCTV5 met with the man who gave it and who, years later, is still afraid to show his face. He agreed to talk with us and we agreed not to reveal his identity.

Trigger warning: Some may find the details below disturbing.

D.M. told us about incidents near the river when he was a teenager. He said he was forced to crawl on the ground.

Golubski and other officers were present. D.M. remembers their names.

“I was taken out of the car,” D.M. said. “I was told to, you know, walk a little bit and don’t turn around. My pockets were rambled through. He took whatever I had on me — and off me.”

D.M. said Golubski stole drugs and cash from him, then made his strip to his boxers. All of his clothes were taken, even his shoes.

He told us what the officers did next. “Laugh, making jokes like, you know, ‘Think you’re going to make it home?’”

But, that’s not even the worst thing the officers did to him.

In the deposition, he described the officers clicking a gun, spinning the barrel, and playing Russian roulette at the back of his head.

This location is the same place where a teenager says Golubski attached a dog collar and leash to her and walked her like a dog before he raped her. Her allegations led to federal charges.

An expert weighs in

KCTV5 contacted a legal ethics professor for insight about what should happen in cases like this. Peter Joy is the director of the Criminal Justice clinic at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis.

“If there’s been proof that they falsified evidence, or lied, or coerced witnesses in one case, the rest of the cases really deserve a second look,” said Joy.

Joy says convicted prisoners don’t get a “get-out-of-jail-free card,” but cases that rely on crumbling eyewitness testimony and lack physical evidence deserve more scrutiny.

“I think it’s always important to take a look,” said Joy. “If there’s some credible evidence that a police officer has lied, or pressured witnesses, or falsified evidence in one case, that oftentimes is the tip of the iceberg.”

Joy says this work is often done by district attorneys.

Additionally, the Department of Justice could launch a pattern or practice investigation to review how widespread corruption is.

Such investigations are led by the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, which evaluates persistent misconduct that violates the Constitution or federal law.

Cases in point

The Midwest Innocence Project currently represents Ahmon Mann.

Mann has been the focus of previous KCTV5 investigative reports. He was convicted in a 2000 KCK murder even though there was no physical evidence linking him to the shooting. Golubski and his partner, Terry Zeigler, were both on the scene and their names are on the interrogation of the key eyewitness. That eyewitness later recanted his testimony and blames the detectives for forcing him to lie.

“I claimed to be a witness to a murder on the Ahmon Mann case, when I wasn’t,” the witness wrote in a notarized letter. “I testified in open court, because I was forced by detectives to. I want to retract my statement because I feel guilty about what I have done and I feel like I was wrong.”

There are even more cases. John Calvin is serving a life sentence for a 2002 Wyandotte County Murder. But, a man named Melvin White has admitted that he actually killed the victim.

“I feel bad,” said White. “I could be doing the time, not him. I’m the one wo pulled the trigger.”

Calvin’s family blames Golubski and questions the lack of action by District Attorney Dupree.

“What else do you got to wait for, Dupree?” asks his brother, Eric Calvin. “Our people are doing time.”

Wyandotte County has a conviction integrity unit, but it’s been troubled. Employees were fired last year for making crude comments which were secretly recorded by a member of the unit. The new team is just getting started.

Roger Golubski

Golubski faces life in prison if convicted of federal charges related to rape and kidnapping. Court documents and accusers describe attacks that took place in his police cruiser during his work hours.

S.K. says she was just a teenager in middle school when her abuse began. She claims Golubski threatened her family members if she told.

Ophelia Williams openly spoke with KCTV5 about her alleged abuse, describing how Golubski placed his service revolver on the coffee table.

Williams believes other officers were aware of Golubski’s behavior, saying one sat outside in the car during one attack inside her car.

Federal filings point to active investigations involving seven other women who accuse Golubski of similar behavior.

To view all of KCTV5′s stories regarding Roger Golubski, click here.