KC response to police killing of George Floyd
The killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis on Memorial Day set off global protests calling for an end to police brutality and racism. In Kansas City, Missouri, ongoing protests brought out thousands, first to the Country Club Plaza, followed by downtown then reaching to the suburbs. Heavy police presence, use of tear gas, pepper spray and 'non-lethal' projectile rounds worsened tensions, and by the second and third days, protesters had destroyed shop windows, graffitied walls, torched a police SUV and two news vehicles. By the fifth day, calls for de-escalation caused a shift and police stopped lining up in riot gear and stopped using tear gas, pepper spray and projectile rounds. By the sixth day, the police chief met with protesters and announced that funding for body cameras had been found. Police presence and intimidation tactics decreased and protests became more peaceful, though still spirited. Currently, police are visible diverting traffic so protesters can march without being harmed.