Local church council recants statement made about being anti-process with KCPD reform

Pastor Darron LaMonte Edwards, lead pastor of the United Believers Community Church and Co-Organizer for Getting to the Heart of the Matter, speaks at a press conference at KCPD’s East Patrol on March 23, 2021. Photo by Nikki Lansford

Heartland Presbytery, a regional body that represents the Presbyterian Church in Kansas and Missouri, recanted a statement made by Interim Executive Presbyter Rev. Dee Cooper in regards to the groups request for the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners to dismiss Police Chief Rick Smith.

The request for Smith’s dismissal was issued in an official letter sent to the Board of Police Commissioners by Heartland Presbytery on Thursday, March 18. In it the organization cited Smith’s “total lack of a working relationship” with Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker as one of the several reasons for the need of his dismissal. Cooper made a comment the following day saying “this is not anti-police; this is anti-process” in regards to the letter. 

Tuesday morning, March 23, a press conference was held at the Kansas City Police Department (KCPD) East Patrol Division, located at 2640 Prospect Ave., to address Cooper’s comment. During this time, Pastor Darron LaMonte Edwards, lead pastor of the United Believers Community Church and co-organizer for Getting to the Heart of the Matter, who has been in discussion with Cooper about her comment, read a letter of clarification on the behalf of Cooper and the Heartland Presbytery. 

In this letter, Cooper said the goal of the original letter was to ensure that a transparent process of reform occurs within KCPD. She also said Heartland Presbytery recognizes there are different groups working hard to accomplish this reform and they know more work needs to happen. 

“They recanted that one line because they did not know that there was a process that was moving that was in place,” Edwards said. “And so their positions are their positions, and I respect their positions and their convictions, but I wanted to be clear that there is a process that’s moving forward that we ought to be involved in.”

During the press conference, Edwards said Getting to the Heart of the Matter, which embodies over 50 faith communities, is working to involve everyone in that process. In 2021 alone, he said, so far the organization has hosted three patrol division meetings with community stakeholders. The group has also hosted lunches for community stakeholders, such as the Baptist Ministers Union and the Church of Scientology, to discuss community members’ concerns.

“Kansas City needs to join hands, not pointed fingers,” Edwards said. 

The recanting of Cooper’s statement is not Heartland Presbytery renouncing their original letter for the dismissal of Smith, Edwards said. 

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • KCMO Parks Board approves renaming several connected thoroughfares in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    April 21st, 2021
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor The Kansas City, Mo., Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners unanimously approved renaming several connected thoroughfares […]


    Neighborhood markers targets for errant motorists

    April 21st, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher The Scarritt Renaissance Neighborhood certainly has had their share of bad luck when it comes to the […]


    Sustainable house one step closer to completion

    April 21st, 2021
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor Mattie Rhodes Center’s Northeast Alliance Together (NEAT) is anticipating the completion of its first net zero […]


    Mayor Lucas announces birth of son

    April 20th, 2021
    by

    Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas announced Monday via Twitter that he and his longtime partner, Katherine Carttar, have welcomed a […]


    Pedestrian in critical condition, hit by car on Independence Ave

    April 18th, 2021
    by

    A pedestrian is left with critical injuries after being hit by a car on Independence Avenue at Lawndale Avenue today. […]


    Audit: KCPD not adequately staffing parking control downtown

    April 16th, 2021
    by

    City Auditor’s Office makes recommendation to align on-street parking enforcement with City goals. The Kansas City, Mo., City Auditor’s Office […]


    Strawberry Swing gathers metro makers in PH

    April 14th, 2021
    by

    Abby HooverManaging Editor On Sunday, April 11, makers, artists and small business owners assembled on Brooklyn Avenue between Lexington and […]


    Northeast’s Spring Cleanup a success despite the rain

    April 14th, 2021
    by

    Nikki Lansford Editorial Assistant Rain did little to deter Northeast’s Neighborhood Spring Cleanup, which occurred on the dreary morning of […]


  • Standing for Law and Order

    April 14th, 2021
    by

    Once again The Kansas City Star, the Urban League, and the Kansas City Homeless Union – whatever that is – […]


    Aldi reopens after modern makeover

    April 14th, 2021
    by

    Nikki LansfordNortheast News After being closed for over a month for renovations, one Aldi grocery store located in Northeast has […]


    KCFD Community Paramedic Program

    April 14th, 2021
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor The Kansas City, Mo. Fire Department (KCFD) is working to improve quality of life for residents […]


    Public Works presents recommendations for traffic calming on St. John

    April 14th, 2021
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor Indian Mound residents, business owners and stakeholders had the opportunity to give input on anticipated traffic […]


    WGU offers grants to innovative Missouri teachers

    April 12th, 2021
    by

    Western Governors University (WGU) Missouri has issued a call for teachers from kindergarten to grade 12 to submit their innovative […]


    Volunteers make repairs following Indian Mound house fire

    April 10th, 2021
    by

    Following an early morning fire on April 5, Northeast neighbors are stepping up to help one of their own repair […]


    Artists bring awareness to vascular disease through new Northeast mural

    April 7th, 2021
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor Medical researchers and artists are sharing an important message about vascular health with Northeast Kansas City […]


    Liberty Tax helps Northeast navigate changes to tax preparation

    April 7th, 2021
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor Liberty Tax at 3414 Independence Avenue has been meeting the Northeast community’s tax needs, for nearly […]


  • Northeast Newscast


  • Faces Of Northeast


  • retorts illustrated by bryan stalder


  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.