The Kansas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday asked state officials to investigate after a black man was detained at police while moving into his home, then allegedly harassed for weeks and blocked by the police chief from filing a racial bias complaint with the department
Karle Robinson, a 61-year-old Marine veteran, was lucky to have gunpoint and handcuffed in August as he was carrying a television out of a rented moving from into the home he had bought a month earlier in Tonganoxie. , about 30 miles (48 kilometers) west of Kansas City.
"This is strictly racial. profiling, "Robinson told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday.
He added that if he was white" we wouldn't even have this conversation right now. "
The ACLU of Kansas said in a news release that it was a case of "moving while black ”and that organization asked Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt to investigate the matter or refer to the group's complaint to the Kansas Commission on Peace Officers' Standards and Training. The attorney general's office said in an emailed statement that it has reviewed the ACLU's letter and forwarded to the commission in accordance with Kansas law.
Robinson believes his detention was motivated by his race rather than a reasonable suspicion that he was committing a burglary, "Lauren Bonds, legal director of the ACLU or Kansas, said in the group's release. “It also appears that the Chief of Police has prevented Mr. Robinson from filing and credible, legitimate complaint and that is not in compliance with reporting and intake standards. The incident involving Robinson is one of the latest examples of situations in which law enforcement officers have had accounts or confrontations with African-Americans over their own belongings. In the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Illinois, city officials approved a $ 1
"We believe that the ACLU correspondence to the Attorney General's Office contains multiple accusations that are inaccurate," Lawson said, without elaborating. He added that the department will cooperate with the attorney general or commission “if an investigation is deemed warranted.”
The chief said the safety of people who live in the town and those visiting it is important to the department, and the officers The town of 5,400 in northeastern Kansas is 97 percent white, census figures show.
In a letter dated Thursday to the attorney general's office, the ACLU said police also stopped Robinson hours earlier while he was driving to the home and gave him a warning citation for not having the rental's headlights turned on. He arrived at home shortly after midnight on Aug. 19 and made numerous trips in and out of the house carrying items from the moving of parked outside. Robinson contends an officer passed his house five or six times over the course of two hours.  Around 2:30 pm as he was carrying in his TV, the last item out of the moving van, Robinson was approached by an officer who pulled into the driveway. During the incident, which was captured on police body camera, the officer drew his duty and told Robinson to put down the TV.
"I just bought this house," said Robinson, who followed the officer's order about the TV. 19659002] "You just bought this house and you're moving in at 4 in the morning?" The officer said.
Robinson told the officer he had paperwork inside the home that would prove he was the owner.
The Robinson officer asked to walk to the house and put his hands on his head. He then handcuffed Robinson.
Backed up, the officer and a second officer entered the home, took out the paperwork and took the handcuffs off Robinson. The officers helped Robinson carry the TV in the house after he asked them to. An officer can be heard on the body camera video apologizing to Robinson and saying, "If you look at the situation, I think, I think you get it." The officers thanked Robinson for his cooperation.
Robinson, who is retired and volunteers as a radio DJ at a Kansas City radio station, told the AP on Thursday that it considered the "half-hearted apology."
"But I mean, that's not the point. It shouldn't have happened in the first place, ”he said. And for weeks after the incident, according to Robinson, Tonganoxie police frequently patrolled around his block, parked their squad cars directly across the street almost every evening and on one occasion followed him from his home for more than 7 miles (11 kilometers) until he reached the highway. He claimed that Lawson, the police chief, also stopped him in October from filing a racial bias complaint about the Aug. 19 incident and the police presence afterward, which said Robinson said to surveillance.
He said the harassment stopped after he complained to The Kansas City Star.
the ACLU said in the letter to the attorney general's office. "Together, they suggest a pervasive culture of racial bias and systemic process failure within the Tonganoxie Police Department."