Carla Eckels / KMUW

Throughout his 87 years, Marvin Stone Jr. has witnessed the endless struggle for civil rights, both personally and as a former special investigator for the Kansas Commission on Civil Rights.

The native Wichitan says the racial injustice currently the focus of nationwide protests and news coverage isn't anything new. For KMUW's weekly show The Range, Stone recently reflected on his early experiences with police, racism, and his thoughts on the recent killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

LAWRENCE, Kansas — Activists and citizens from Dodge City to the Kansas City suburbs are reconsidering the involvement of police in their communities — including whether officers should continue to help respond to mental health crises.

As demonstrations against police brutality and racism have rocked the world, some Kansans have protested in hopes of pushing reforms at home.

Since Memorial Day, thousands of people have attended rallies and marches across the state, from Garden City to Kansas City, protesting the deaths of George Floyd and other black people at the hands of the police.

And like many other communities in the U.S., Kansas activists and law enforcement are taking another look at policing in their communities.


The Wichita Police Department says the fatal police shooting that killed a man in late December started with a prank phone call, commonly referred to as swatting.

In swatting cases, callers utilize technology to make 911 calls appear local—also known as spoofing—and then report a false emergency at a victim’s home to get a strong police and SWAT team response, which is where the term gets its name. The harassment is often associated with the dark corners of online gaming.

Jason Rojas / flickr Creative Commons

The Shawnee County district attorney said this week that he does not plan to file criminal charges against two Topeka police officers in the fatal shooting of a black man earlier this year, saying the man struggled with the officers and reached for a gun he had attempted to hide.

District Attorney Mike Kagay released a seven-page report that was in line with the initial account Topeka police gave of the Sept. 28 shooting of 30-year-old Dominique White near a park. Kagay's report described White as acting suspiciously after the officers responded to a call about shots being fired.

Jim Hickcox / flickr Creative Commons

Car break-ins tend to be more frequent toward the end of the year in Wichita.

The last two months of 2016 saw an 8 percent increase in the frequency of car break-ins compared to the rest of the year, according to data provided by the Wichita Police Department. Previous years also saw a rise.

Lt. Chris McAuliffe with the Wichita Police Department says car owners can best avoid break-ins by not making their cars a target of opportunity.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

Wichita State University has appointed a law enforcement veteran to serve as its interim police chief.

Robert Hinshaw will begin the job on Monday. His 33-year career in law enforcement includes four years as Sedgwick County Sheriff.

Hinshaw will lead the 47-person university police department during a search for a permanent chief.

The current police chief, Sara Morris, is retiring.

Hinshaw is an Administration of Justice graduate of Wichita State and holds a masters in Business Law from Friends University. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

The Kansas House has advanced a bill to allow the state commission that certifies law enforcement officers to close records about officers who have been fired or disciplined.

House members gave first-round approval to the bill on a voice vote. The chamber expects to take a final vote Wednesday to determine whether the bill goes to the Senate.

The bill was sought by Republican Rep. John Whitmer of Wichita. He is chairman of the Kansas Commission on Peace Officers' Standards and Training.