KANSAS CITY (KCTV5) -- Independence Center mall continues to experience problems.
Most recently 3 men were taken into custody for carrying a toy gun around in the mall. KCTV 5 has also covered fights and shootings at the mall in the last two months.
Bannister mall on the Missouri side and Indian Springs mall on the Kansas side could give us some foreshadowing into what’s to come in Independence.
We spoke to KCK resident Christina Harcharik near the old Indian Springs mall back in 2017.
“It was just a really nice place at one time,” Harcharik said.
But the mall had a darker past. An 18-year-old boy was shot by a security guard at Indian Springs in KCK.
Bannister had its own share of problems. There were multiple shootings at or near Bannister mall.
Back in 2007 The Call wrote an article about Black shoppers being pushed farther and farther from the city center, forced to shop in malls like Bannister. 3 years later it was demolished.
Unique Donnelson was shopping at a store off Bannister Road when we spoke with her today.
“I feel like there’s a lot of gentrification going on right now,” Donnelson said. “Bannister mall, that was the place that we would go on the weekends. If you didn’t have anything to do you’re going to Bannister mall.”
Now, Cerner has one of its offices sitting on more than 200 acres of old Bannister mall land.
One man who didn’t want to go on camera told us Independence mall should meet the same fate.
The Mayor of independence says: “The City of Independence has increased the presence of our police officers in the area which has allowed us to respond to incidents in the 39th Street corridor faster. We are partnering directly with the management and ownership of the mall to address the ongoing issues. Sunday’s response showed this collaboration in action.
The Independence Center ownership is working to increase their on-site security presence with increased personnel, technology and dispatching capabilities. Our police department is providing input into these efforts.
We will continue conversations with business owners, citizens and community groups to ensure our citizens and visitors feel safe in this important area of our community. We are working on a business summit to facilitate these conversations at this time.”