Jay-Z’s philanthropic group is suing a Kansas police department for access to records of alleged cop misconduct.
The hip-hop mogul’s Team Roc filed a lawsuit Monday in Wyandotte County against the Kansas City Police Department to obtain records of alleged misconduct complaints filed against members of its Investigative Division, ABC News reported.
Attorney Alex Spiro, who is representing Team Roc, said the department provided some of the documents via the Kansas Open Records Act, but the information released was “not sufficient.”
“The government has attempted to block our access to those files, so we’re suing to see what they don’t want us to see,” Spiro told ABC News.
The lawsuit filed in district court claims Kansas police agreed to provide documents related to the complaints against its Investigative Division officers, but “refused to produce” information detailing what the city has done in response to the complaints.
Monday’s filing referenced several allegations of alleged misconduct and discrimination by Kansas City cops, including an officer charged with committing sex crimes involving a minor and two officers charged with assaulting an inmate, ABC News reported.
Other officers have been indicted for allegedly stealing from homes as they served search warrants and a black female Kansas officer has sued the department in federal court, claiming alleged racial and gender discrimination, according to the report.
“These documents will help identify the scope of the problem, any potential evidence of a cover-up, and also the potential causes,” the filing states.
A Kansas City police spokeswoman confirmed that the department received notice that Jay-Z’s Roc Nation record label filed a petition regarding a previous open records request.
“The Unified Government has previously produced hundreds of the requested records per the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) with some exceptions,” spokeswoman Nancy Chartrand told ABC News.
But the Open Records Act doesn’t require personnel and criminal investigation records “without specific circumstances,” Chartrand said. Monday’s filing stated a “special interest in disclosing all records for the public can seek justice,” the police spokeswoman said in a statement.
“Once the petition has been thoroughly reviewed, the Unified Government will follow-up by filing a response,” Chartrand’s statement concluded.
The lawsuit comes as activists in Kansas City want the Department of Justice to probe the department in connection to a series of alleged incidents involving misconduct and discrimination by the city’s officers, ABC News reported.
Dania Diaz, Team Roc’s managing director, told CBS News she hopes the lawsuit sheds light on the alleged misconduct.
“With regard to any public institution that we pay to support and protect us, we have to put the pressure on so that we are supported and protected, and certainly so are the people in Kansas City, Kansas,” Diaz said.
Team Roc officials, meanwhile, tweeted Monday that “it is time” for Kansas City police to be held accountable.
“The KCKPD is entrusted by the public to help maintain peace in the community,” the group tweeted.
“Yet, for years, it appears that officers have abused their power and engaged in wrongdoing … to the extent that the KCKPD did not take any steps to remediate these issues, the public should have a right to know so they can organize and take appropriate steps to effect change.”