KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) - In 2013, Ryan Stokes was shot and killed in the Power and Light District by Kansas City police.
“We learned that if there had been a camera, a video of any sort then we would have been in a better position to provide facts to the public,” President of the Southern Christian Leadership Council Vernon Howard said.
Howard says their organization has been advocating for reforms for the last five years including outfitting each KCPD officer on patrol with body cameras. This year, four KCPD officers have been indicted for misconduct in charges ranging from assault to manslaughter.
“We are seeing now that more attention is being brought here because this is one of the centerpieces where police brutality has developed a pattern,” Howard said.
In the local protests back in June, the mayor and police chief announced a $2.5 million donation from the DeBruce Foundation that would pay for body cameras.
Two months later, where are the cameras?
“We’re trying to basically make sure we can pay the bills. Pay the bills long term and it’s not just a one-off donation to do that, this will be an obligation of taxpayers for years to come,” Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said.
Police said the Police Foundation of Kansas City has received the donation. Now the board of police commissioners must vote to receive those funds and figure out how much more they need to support full implementation.
Howard hopes the Board of Police Commissioners prioritizes cameras for the protection of both police and citizens.
“Transparency and accountability bring protection to everybody and bring a sense of integrity to the entire process,” Howard said.
A KCPD spokesman said the Board of Police Commissioners will vote to receive funds Tuesday. KCTV5 News has requested to hear from some of the policy makers on that board Tuesday after the meeting.