‘Finally’: Activists welcome grand jury investigation of ex-KCK cop Roger Golubski

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Social justice organizers and activists welcomed news on Thursday of a criminal grand jury investigation of former Kansas City, Kansas, police detective Roger Golubski.

Golubski has for years been accused of using his badge to terrorize and rape vulnerable Black women. The Kansas City, Kansas Police Department has acknowledged a federal grand jury investigation is underway.

Golubski, 69, faces allegations that he exploited women for sexual favors and coerced some of them into fabricating testimony to clear cases he investigated. He retired in 2010 from the police department.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Kansas declined to comment to The Star, saying she could not confirm or deny such an investigation.

The news comes after years of reporting by The Star on accusations against Golubski. That has included numerous columns by Melinda Henneberger, opinion editor and columnist for The Star. Henneberger has spoken with alleged victims of Golubski and their families, and reported on decades of misconduct, abuse and manipulation.

Separately, the newspaper engaged in a partnership of reporting with KCUR detailing the former detective’s connection to several slain Black women in Kansas City, Kansas.

Morgan Roach, an attorney representing Golubski, declined to comment, citing “pending litigation.”

Last year, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation said it shared with authorities information about “possible federal violations” that it discovered during its own investigation of Golubski. The KBI’s criminal investigation started in 2019.

The Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department acknowledged the investigation in a statement Thursday.

“Since 2019, the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department has been responding to subpoenas from the FBI regarding allegations made against Roger Golubski,” police spokeswoman Nancy Chartrand said in a written statement. “Despite many inquiries from both the public and media over the past three years, we did not disclose our cooperation with the investigation out of concern that it could interfere with the work of federal authorities.”

Community response

Ricee Cade, a community organizer in Wyandotte County with MORE2, a social justice organization, called the grand jury news exciting. The organization has been calling for an investigation into Golubski or the police department “for a long time.”

“This was really just like, finally,” Cade told The Star. “Hopefully this just snowballs into a bigger investigation because this is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Lora McDonald, executive director MORE2, said the organization — which called for a Golubski investigation in 2018 — was “elated.” Golubski terrorized Black community members, which the police department allowed to go “unchecked for decades,” she said.

McDonald said the group was in touch with a woman who was raped by Golubski. The woman on Thursday said she was happy something was being done about “all this ‘BS’ they’ve been covering up for years,” McDonald said.

The group again called for a Department of Justice investigation into the police department, saying “nothing significant has occurred to remedy this injustice or overhaul this system.”

Reacting to the news on Twitter, the Midwest Innocence Project — which represented a man Golubski was accused of framing in a double murder — said it was encouraged that federal prosecutors were looking into the “injustice” in Kansas City, Kansas.

“We have heard of investigations for years, but what the community deserves is justice,” the organization wrote.

Its executive director, Tricia Rojo Bushnell, said while she and others were hopeful, they want to see results.

“Whether those be indictments or pattern-and-practice investigations that we’ve be calling for from the DOJ,” she told The Star. “But there have been investigations ... or attempted investigations for years.”

Calls for investigation

Last week, Bushnell and Team Roc, the social justice arm of rapper Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, took out a full-page advertisement in The Washington Post calling on the Justice Department to investigate alleged misconduct by officers in Kansas City, Kansas.

“The police and eyewitness reports of criminal behavior perpetrated by members of the Kansas City, Kansas police department, over the past several decades, are staggering,” it said. “They detail graphic accounts of rape, murder, sex trafficking and corruption so rampant and so blatant, it would be shocking if even a single allegation were true.”

After leaving the Kansas City, Kansas force, Golubski went to the Edwardsville Police Department, where he worked as a detective until October 2016.

It was in 2017, when Lamonte McIntyre was freed from prison after serving 23 years for two murders he did not commit, that questions began to arise publicly about Golubski. His mother says Golubski coerced her into having sex with him.

Last year, Golubski was asked during a deposition if he understood he was being accused of “raping women and coercing women into giving false testimony, some of the grossest acts of corruption a police officer can commit.”

He declined to respond to questions 555 times that day.

“On the advice of my attorney, I invoke my Fifth Amendment Constitutional Rights,” Golubski replied, The Star and KCUR previously reported.

CNN report

In its story Thursday, CNN reported that former Police Chief Terry Zeigler, who was once Golubski’s partner, was among those called to testify before the grand jury. He knew of more than a half dozen former officers who have or will also testify, he told CNN.

Zeigler could not be reached Thursday by The Star.

One of Golubski’s ex-wives told CNN that two FBI agents visited her earlier this year. They asked her about various women, CNN reported, including Rhonda Tribue, a Kansas City, Kansas, woman who was murdered in 1998.

Earlier this year, state and federal authorities asked for the public’s help in identifying those responsible for Tribue’s killing.

Tribue, who sometimes went by her maiden name, Rhonda Easley, was discovered in the road in the 500 block of South 94th Street, the border of Kansas City, Kansas, and Edwardsville.

Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree was among officials who had no comment on the CNN report.

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