Community Resolution for Kansas City, MO

July 14, 2005
Expressing the commitment of the City to the preservation of civil rights and liberties: Resolution NO. 040148

WHEREAS, following the attacks on America of September 11, 2001, Americans have witnessed considerable expansion of federal governmental authority in the areas of the detention without cause of non-citizens, electronic surveillance, racial or ethnic profiling, secret deportation hearings, deprivation of the right to counsel and to a speedy trial, among others; and

WHEREAS, the Congress of the United States passed PL 107-56, the USA Patriot Act, on October 26, 2001, expanding the authority of the federal government to detain and investigate citizens and non-citizens while decreasing the oversight authority of the federal courts in these matters and to engage in electronic surveillance of citizens and non-citizens; and

WHEREAS, the historical record of our nation has many examples of the federal government violating the rights of citizens in times of threats to national security including but not limited to the Palmer raids following WWI, the internment of 120,000 Japanese-Americans following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the McCarthyism period of the 1950's and FBI and CIA spying programs on citizens involved in the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960's and 70's; and

WHEREAS, the need for heightened awareness and security on a personal, local and national scale is obvious. Wisdom requires us to recognize the limits to what can be accomplished by expanding governmental authority and the certain costs to fundamental freedoms are too great; and

WHEREAS, consistent with Article I, Section 2 of the Missouri Constitution, all constitutional government is intended to promote the general welfare of the people; all persons have a natural right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and the enjoyment of the gains of their industry; all persons are created equal and are entitled to equal rights and opportunity under the law; to give security to these things is the principal office of government, and, when government fails to confer this security, it fails in its chief design; NOW, THEREFORE,

BE I T RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF KANSAS CITY:

Section 1. That the City of Kansas City, Missouri, has been, and remains, firmly committed to the protection of civil rights and civil liberties for all people including citizens and non-citizens alike.

Section 2. That the City of Kansas City, Missouri, respects and values public safety intelligence gathering as an indispensable part of law enforcement and of national security. The City intends that the methods of gathering information be in strict compliance with the protections for individual liberty provided for in the United States Constitution and the Missouri Constitution.

Section 3. That the City of Kansas City, Missouri, affirms the City's commitment to unbiased policing and endorses the principle that no law enforcement official or agency or City official or agency may profile or discriminate against, apprehend, question or detain any person on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, ethnicity, national origin, age, ancestry, sexual orientation, disability, handicap, or health related condition, as required by the United States Constitution, the Missouri Constitution and Section 1-17, Code of Ordinances.

Section 4. That the Clerk of the City of Kansas City shall attest and affix the seal of the City of Kansas City, Missouri, to this resolution and a copy shall be transmitted to President George W. Bush, Attorney General John Ashcroft, Governor Bill Holden and Kansas City, Missouri Chief of Police Richard D. Easley.

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