Mayor Lucas introduces new ordinance to fight over-policing by decriminalizing poverty
Kansas City Mayor, Quinton Lucas introduced a new ordinance Thursday that will remove arrest warrants for low-level code violations. This ordinance will see that 800 fewer people in Kansas City are subject to criminal penalties in the next year.
The declaration focuses on removing arrest warrants for people who have low-level code violations, like parking tickets, that have gone unpaid. “There is no reason for that,” Mayor Lucas explains. Mayor Lucas believes that there are other ways to enforce these code violations that don’t require over-policing lower-income community members who cannot pay their fines.
This ordinance follows Mayor Lucas’ goal to investigate the laws that incarcerate certain community members and find solutions to improve the relationship between the police force and lower-income community members. Building trust by not over-policing non-violent offenses is one of the solutions Mayor Lucas has found to work on this strained relationship. “We should not criminalize poverty,” Mayor Lucas says.
What can Kansas Citians expect as an effect of this ordinance? In addition to eliminating arrest warrants for these low-level crimes, “we will see less activity related to people being stopped and get[ting] incited for marijuana offenses,” Mayor Lucas explains.
Lucas has been getting national attention for this decision. Here’s hoping that other city’s follow the excellent leadership he’s been displaying this year. We’re lucky to have one of the Not Awful politicians, especially right now. Here’s hoping he keeps continuing this winning streak.