Archive for admin

18th And Vine Improvement Plan Hits One-Year Mile

Councilman Jermaine ReedOne full year since July 16, 2016, when the City Council approved funding for Phase 1 of a larger $27.6 million, three-phase plan to improve the 18th and Vine Historic District, and allocated $7 million for Phase 1 projects, Third District Council members Jermaine Reed and Quinton Lucas, together with the City Manager Troy Schulte presented at a news conference the newly published 18th and Vine Improvements Plan Update and Year-in-Review, a 20-page report that provides highlights on the vision, momentum, and improvements that are part of the 18th and Vine Improvements Plan.

Councilman Reed, who also is Chair of the 18th and Vine Development Policy Committee, shared with news conference attendees that 18th and Vine is not just about history and what happened here a long time ago. “It is about opportunity and evolution, and what we are doing right now to ensure a sustainable future. It is about where we are going and our collective vision for how we get there.”


Read more in The Call now!

Board Appoints Major Rick Smith As The New Chief Of Police

MajorSmithBy Eric L. Wesson Sr.
CALL Staff Writer

On Friday, July 28, the Board of Police Commissioners for the Kansas City, Mo., Police department, named Major Rick Smith as the new Chief of Police.

Smith who has served in the Department for 29 years became the 45th Chief of Police in the City’s history. He will be sworn-in on August 15.

Smith edged out, by a vote of 3 to 2, Tulsa Oklahoma Chief of Police Keith Humphrey.

Smith inherits the position as the City records its 86th homicide and in spite of what citizens hear crime is on the rise.

Smith campaigned on the platform of hiring more Police officers and placing more officers on the street, especially in hot spots such as Westport and in the Northland where he alleged that he spoke with someone who stated that they had to wait an unreasonable amount of time for Police to finally arrive.

Smith will oversee a $250 million budget and 1,800 Police officers.

Smith wasn’t a slam dunk for the position.


Read more in The Call now!

Family Remembers Loved One Killed By Police Four Years Ago

Ms. Narene Stokes JamesBy Eric L. Wesson Sr.
CALL Staff Writer

Ryan Stokes was shot and killed at 2:58:27 a.m. by a Kansas City, Mo. Police officer on July 28, 2013.

His death came 45 seconds after Officer Villafain initiated a foot pursuit and 20 seconds after Officer Thompson heard his breathy radio call. “Two black males, white T-shirts, stealing, alley at 12th and McGee.”

The dispatcher asks him to repeat the location, and then Villafain can be heard yelling, “Watch your cross-fire man.”

Officer Lutz yells at Thompson. “was he armed?” as he rolls Stokes now lifeless body over, only to discover he was in fact, unarmed.

Moments later Villafain asks dispatch to send a car to handle the friends of the “victim” as they worked to push witnesses out of the crime scene. That was the only time that Stokes was ever called a “victim’.

As the narrative is created Stokes, a high school graduate, an emplyee, a son, a father, a cousin and a member of our community is transformed into a thief, thug and a young man who refused to drop a weapon that Officer Thompson, who shot and killed Stokes, searched his car and found after the shooting. The Police, through the media, shifted the burden of proof from the Police shooting Stokes, an unarmed man to Stokes having to defend his character from the grave.

Currently, Stokes’ mother Ms. Narene Stokes James and her family, friends as well as witnesses, are in depositions for the lawsuit that they filed against the Board of Police Commissioners concerning what they feel needs to be changed in the Department’s policies.

One of the things that surprised both Ms. James and her attorney during deposition were some of the responses by the officers.

“The officers stated that they did not want the awards that they were given and that they were made to accept the awards,” Ms. Stokes James said.

The issue was the narrative that the review panel presented to justify the awards. Both Officers Thompson and Jones didn’t feel that the narrative that was used was reflective of what happened that July 28th morning.

Read more in The Call now!