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Kansas City mayor calls on governor for special session to address violent crime 

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas has called on Gov. Mike Parson to convene a special session to address violent crime. 

The letter was sent on Friday following a violent week in Kansas City where a number of incidents occurred, including the shooting death of a 4-year-old boy on Monday and the wounding of two officers on Wednesday. 

Lucas said gun violence has been the biggest challenge of his first 11 months in office, and this year’s murder rate has outpaced past years. 

“We are at a crisis point in Kansas City and we need state legislative action on several items we have previously discussed to address our problem,” he said.

“Given our challenges, I respectfully request that you call a Special Session of the Missouri General Assembly with a focus on addressing violence in our cities,” Lucas said. “I would ask that our senators and representatives vote on legislation to enhance witness protection funding in Missouri and address how we can provide more tools for law enforcement and prosecutors to interrupt conspiracies to commit murder and other violent acts, particularly offenses committed by felons using deadly weapons.”

The Kansas City Police Department’s crime statistics page shows 96 total homicides for the year as of Thursday, not including officer-related incidents. The analysis compared this year’s data with statistics from the past five years. 

The data showed the number of homicides by this time that year as 67 in 2019, 60 in 2018, 73 in 2017, and 52 in 2016. The data also listed the total homicide count for 2019 as 150.

Lucas said he spoke with the governor on Wednesday to address violent crime.

“While we will continue to pursue a broad set of social services and other tools to address violent crime now and in the future, specific action from Jefferson City can help us apprehend and incarcerate murderers currently walking the streets of Kansas City and protect witnesses in our neighborhoods who are frequently scared to speak,” Lucas said. “As we discussed, Kansas City is too fine a city and Missouri too fine a state to allow violent criminality to define our way of life. We will persevere through these challenges, but our children, our law enforcement community, and all Kansas Citians need change quickly.”

The mayors of Columbia, St. Louis, and Springfield are copied on the end of the letter.

A spokeswoman for Parson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

You can read the full letter here