Federal Lawsuit Claims Kansas City Enabled Police To Exploit Black Community For Years

The lawsuit filed by five Black women against the Kansas City, Kansas, police force compares the alleged misconduct and violence to the Jim Crow era.

Five Black women filed a federal lawsuit on Friday accusing several officers from a controversial Kansas police department of engaging in unethical, violent and abusive behavior targeting the Black community. The accused officers include a former detective who has numerous complaints against him.

The women, whom HuffPost has chosen not to name, have accused the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City of enabling officers of the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department as they engaged in exploitative behavior for years while on the job, including stalking, assaulting and raping Kansas City residents.

The defendants listed in the suit include former police chiefs Thomas Dailey, James Swafford and Ronald Miller; and detectives Roger Golubski, Terry Zeigler, Michael Kill, Clayton Bye and Dennis Ware.

The suit likens the police department’s and city/county government’s efforts to torment and intimidate Black citizens to the Jim Crow era of the late 1800s to the mid-1900s, when racist laws upheld white supremacy and enforced segregation.

“With government authority, a plague of State agents used their badges as licenses to stalk, assault, beat, rape, harass, frame, and threaten Black citizens in protected police hunting grounds,” according to the 138-page lawsuit.

The suit describes the officers as “dirty cops” who used their “badges to exploit Black women” and used “government-sanctioned power and terrorism” to silence and intimidate the plaintiffs.

The suit describes multiple encounters with Golubski, a former homicide detective in the KCKPD who retired in 2010. Golubski, now 70, has made headlines in the last few years as misconduct accusations against him, spanning from the 1990s to the 2000s, have surfaced.

All but one of the five plaintiffs have accused Golubski of raping them.

This undated photo provided by the Edwardsville Police Department shows former Kansas City, Kansas, Police detective Roger Golubski, who is accused of preying on Black women and girls for decades.
This undated photo provided by the Edwardsville Police Department shows former Kansas City, Kansas, Police detective Roger Golubski, who is accused of preying on Black women and girls for decades.
Edwardsville Police Department via Associated Press

Golubulski is already facing federal charges in two separate cases related to crimes he’s accused of committing decades earlier.

One federal case alleges that he raped and kidnapped two women during his police work. According to the indictment, Golubski allegedly told one of his victims that he could help her after her twin sons were arrested for a double murder in 1999, KCUR-FM in Kansas City reported. Instead, the suit alleges, Golubski returned to her home and raped her multiple times.

When the woman told Golubski that she would report him, he allegedly said, “Report me to who, the police? I am the police.”

A second federal indictment accuses him of collaborating with drug dealers to run a sex trafficking ring involving minors in the 1990s.

The lawsuit filed Friday includes allegations that Golubski used his influence as an officer to wrongfully convict Black men of crimes they didn’t commit, citing the allegedly framing a 16-year-old in a double homicide in 1994, which led to a 23-year prison sentence. The teen was exonerated in 2022 and received a $12.5 million settlement from Kansas City and Wyandotte County.

Golubski, who was on house arrest due to the previous charges, was hospitalized in October for unspecified health issues and temporarily taken off house arrest, KCTV-TV in Kansas City, Missouri, reported.

Golubski has pleaded not guilty to each of the crimes.

William Skepnek, an attorney for the plaintiffs, told HuffPost that the accusations in the lawsuit against Golubski and the others are disgraceful.

“It’s shameful that this is continuing to happen. It’s happening here, it’s happening now, and this sort of systemic corruption leads to the destruction of families and communities,” Skepnek said.

The unified city/county government did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment. The KCKPD declined to comment due to the pending litigation.

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