Civil Rights

St. Louis asks judge to rule ‘police bill of rights’ law unconstitutional

BY: - December 3, 2021

The City of St. Louis filed a lawsuit Friday asking a judge to strike down a wide-ranging bill that passed in May bolstering protections for police under investigation for misconduct. The city’s lawsuit targets a portion of a bill called the “Law Enforcement Bill of Rights,” a list of more than 15 new requirements that […]

After being booted from Missouri Capitol, LGBTQ history exhibit headed to St. Louis

BY: - November 30, 2021

Nearly three months after being removed from the Missouri Capitol by Gov. Mike Parson’s administration, an exhibit on the history of the LGTBQ movement will now be on display in several St. Louis locations.  Called “Making History: Kansas City and the Rise of Gay Rights,” the exhibit documents the early days of LGBTQ activism in […]

New director vows changes at Missouri’s troubled social services department

BY: - November 16, 2021

The new acting director of Missouri’s troubled Department of Social Services pledged to lawmakers Tuesday that he would work to address the agency’s long list of challenges and “tears in our safety net.” The Joint Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect heard for the first time from the new acting department director, Robert Knodell.  Knodell […]

Missouri AG sues Springfield schools in quest to find critical race theory documents

BY: - November 16, 2021

Attorney General Eric Schmitt alleges in a newly filed lawsuit that Springfield Public Schools wants to avoid scrutiny of its curriculum and training materials — and is violating the Missouri Sunshine law to do it. The district improperly demanded a deposit of more than $37,000 to search its records for instances where it incorporated elements […]

‘A matter of dignity’: Biden signs executive order to address violence against Indigenous people

BY: - November 16, 2021

President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Monday addressing violence against Indigenous communities. “These efforts are a matter of dignity,” Biden said during the opening ceremony for the White House Tribal Nations Summit. “That’s the foundation of our nation-to-nation partnership.” The executive order directs the departments of Justice, Interior, Homeland Security, and Health and […]

Missourians say they can’t get federal food assistance due to long call wait times

BY: - November 15, 2021

Just as the school year was ending this past spring — and with it, free school lunches — Erin Bay learned that her monthly food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) was cut off.  She was informed by the state that her son’s federal disability assistance put her about $65 over the income […]

Violence against Indigenous women is a crisis in the U.S., report finds

BY: - November 11, 2021

Violence against Indigenous women in the U.S. is a crisis, but the extent of the problem remains unknown, according to a report released by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. “There’s no one single database that has all this information,” said Gretta Goodwin, the director of GAO’s Homeland Security and Justice team. “So the full scope […]

If Missouri doesn’t spend its federal rental and utility assistance money it could lose it

BY: - October 29, 2021

Jill McCormick shook her head and lifted her eyes to the ceiling.  “What is the hold up for getting that money directly to [tenants]?” McCormick, a tenant advocate with the nonprofit Action St. Louis, asked St. Louis’ new director of human services, Yusef Scoggin, at a community meeting Tuesday. The city has received more applications […]

Broader tribal sovereignty at stake in federal Indian Child Welfare Act case

BY: - October 26, 2021

A federal law to protect Native families from being separated is on a likely path to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the 41-year-old law could be upended — threatening tribal sovereignty. And while child welfare is the specific issue at the heart of the case, tribal advocates contend the real goal of the deep-pocketed effort […]

First Lady Biden convenes charla in Kansas City to explore challenges of Latino trailblazers

BY: - October 13, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — First Lady Jill Biden toured a nonprofit serving Latino communities throughout Wyandotte and Johnson counties Monday for insight into challenges of trailblazing entrepreneurs, a university student and a poet. At the offices of the nonprofit El Centro, Biden marked Hispanic Heritage Month with Isbella Guzman, administrator of the U.S. Small Business […]

Judge blocks residency rule for Missouri medical marijuana licenses

BY: - October 12, 2021

A federal judge last week permanently blocked Missouri from enforcing a requirement that medical marijuana licenses go to businesses owned by residents of the state. Following a bench trial Thursday, U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey agreed to grant a permanent injunction. Her written order has not yet been filed. News of the injunction was first reported […]

A DOJ partnership is hoping to change how Kansas City handles violence prevention

BY: - October 11, 2021

This story was originally published by the Kansas City Beacon.  Several years after the embattled violence-reduction program known as KC No Violence Alliance faded from public view, Mayor Quinton Lucas’ administration is working with federal authorities and community partners to revive and broaden the strategies that for a time seemed to be making a difference in Kansas […]