City Council votes to amend KC ordinance, settles federal lawsuit filed by protesters

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Kansas City officials voted Thursday to amend a law, ending a federal lawsuit filed by three women who were arrested during the summer 2020 protests.

The 9-1 vote ensures that recording or witnessing a police officer is not a violation of city law unless someone is “substantially and physically” impeding an officer’s ability to carry out their duties, the revised ordinance reads.

The three plaintiffs were arrested as protests erupted across the country in response to the May 25, 2020, murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.

Protesters in Kansas City gathered over several days near the Country Club Plaza.

The three women, arrested separately, were charged with violating laws that prohibit anyone from resisting and interfering with public officers or traffic directions.

Sariah Moody was sitting near the curb on Mill Creek Parkway when she was arrested after refusing to move. Moody said the road was blocked off to cars for the protest and officers had previously told her she was allowed to be in that spot.

Grace Reading was arrested after refusing to step off of Mill Creek Parkway, a road that she said was blocked off and protesters had been allowed on earlier.

The third plaintiff, Emily Cady, was arrested on the sidewalk on 39th Street after retreating from a police blockade.

The “failure to obey” ordinances that were changed now include more specific language that says in order to violate the law, one must be purposely obstructing or resisting an officer and must be interfering with traffic.

No monetary compensation was required from the city in the settlement.

A third day of protests against police brutality continued in May 2020, as protesters and police poured down Main Street toward the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City.
A third day of protests against police brutality continued in May 2020, as protesters and police poured down Main Street toward the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City.
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