Jay-Z and his philanthropic group Team Roc are continuing to push for greater transparency and police reform, with a new lawsuit filed against a Midwestern city’s police department alleging that it has committed serious misconduct.
The philanthropic coalition that is part of the Roc Nation record label filed a lawsuit on Monday (September 20th) in Wyandotte County, Kansas against the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department. In the filed documents, the lawsuit is seeking access to records that would provide more information on complaints that were filed against the investigative division of the department and to shed more light on the training and supervision of officers with the KCKPD and the corresponding guidelines.
“For decades, the KCKPD has failed to provide accountability for officer misconduct,” according to the lawsuit. “And, thanks to the blue veil of silence and apparent failure to investigate serious allegations, little of it has come to light.” Local activists have steadily accused the department of corruption, misconduct, and discrimination. These incidents include an officer charged with committing sex acts involving a minor and a federal lawsuit from a Black female officer alleging discrimination from the department.
“The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, KS has received notice that Roc Nation has filed a petition for a writ of mandamus in the Wyandotte County District Court today regarding an earlier open records request. The Unified Government has previously produced hundreds of the requested records per the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) with some exceptions,” said Nancy Chartrand, the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department in a statement to the press. “Because of the [Kansas] Public Records Act that allows interested parties to look at various states and government documents, we’re allowed to see certain files and how the government handled certain issues,” said Alex Spiro, the attorney representing Team Roc. “The government has attempted to block our access to those files, and so we’re suing to see what they don’t want us to see.”