Anderton v. Unified Government of Wyandotte County / Kansas City, Kansas et. al.

Current Revsion Submitted: Tue, 04/23/2024 - 12:30
Submitted by Jane Clayton on Tue, 04/23/2024 - 12:24

On February 3, 2023, a KCKPD officer shot Kansas City, Kansas resident Jon Anderton in his back. In the days that followed, KCKPD put out a vague, misleading statement that Jon was armed with a gun—suggesting that he had been a threat to the officer who shot him— but refused to provide the public with any other details. Several months after the shooting, Jon’s brother, Eric Anderton, was able to view the body-worn camera footage of the shooting. What he saw on the video did not match KCKPD’s misleading narrative. Eric Anderton saw a KCKPD officer unload his gun into his elderly brother’s back as he attempted to flee into the woods. No gun was visible in the video.

This case is about whether the public should be able to know if the police agency tasked with protecting and serving them is telling the truth. It is also about whether the public has a right to know the true circumstances surrounding the police killing of one the community’s most vulnerable members.

Transparency created by the release of the body-worn camera footage from this shooting will serve the public good by engendering trust and confidence in police operations. While public disclosure of the video is in the public interest, KCKPD has no reason to withhold the video from the public other than the illegitimate purpose of covering up its misconduct. 

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