Kansas City police, assault

5 Women Allege Kansas City Police Officers Raped Black Women With Impunity

Five Black women filed a federal lawsuit on Nov. 3, 2023 alleging that Kansas City Police Department officers, including retired detective Roger Golubski, engaged in a pattern of harassment and sexual assault against Black women.

Five Black women filed a federal lawsuit on Nov. 3 alleging that Kansas City Police Department officers, including retired detective Roger Golubski, engaged in a pattern of harassment and sexual assault against Black women. According to KCTV, the lawsuit likens the officers’ conduct to a protection racket signed off on by the local government. According to one of the women, Golubski told her, “Report me to who, the police? I am the police” after he had allegedly raped her. 

According to the lawsuit, which has been made available on Scribd, “Jim Crow was designed to ensure emancipation was an illusion and white supremacy remained the de facto law of the land. It stripped Black citizens of their civil rights, made it easier to arrest them, and guaranteed it was harder for them to win their freedom in courts. Jim Crow ensured a Black woman’s body was no more entitled to police protection than a Black man’s neck. But Jim Crow was not restricted to the rebellious Confederate states. It also poisoned the Free State, despite its Capitol’s mural of John Brown raging against the injustice of white supremacy. This case evidences the Free State’s infection. For decades, the Unified Government gave its law enforcement, personified by Detective Roger Golubski, permission to terrorize, abuse, and violate its Black citizens.”

Golubski, though a prominent figure in the lawsuit, is far from the only officer named. In all, the lawsuit includes eight officers, composed of three police chiefs and five detectives. Thomas Daley, James Swafford, and Ronald Miller comprise the former police chiefs, while Golubski, Terry Ziegler, Michael Kill, Clayton Bye, and Dennis Ward are the detectives named in the suit. 

The lawsuit also attempts to hold the city responsible, referred to in the lawsuit as the Unified Government.

According to the lawsuit: “The Unified Government permitted this unlawful terrorization by the KCKPD. With the full knowledge of supervisors, including the Chiefs of Police, official government authority was used to gain leverage over and coerce submission from vulnerable Black women. These victims were then forced to obey Defendants’ demands, including submitting to sexual assault and fabricating evidence to enable the KCKPD to operate its protection racket and cover for their criminal co-conspirators.”

In 2022, BLACK ENTERPRISE reported that Golubski was at the center of another lawsuit, brought by Lamonte McIntyre, who served 23 years in prison for a double murder in 1994. He sued Kansas City for $93 million in damages, and in the suit, he alleged that a former detective–Golubski–framed him for the crime.

McIntyre alleged that the same Unified Government that the women are attempting to hold accountable for Golubski’s conduct were also responsible in his case. The city eventually settled for a fraction of that amount sought by McIntyre, paying $12.5 million. However, neither the department, the Unified Government, nor Golubski were required to admit any wrongdoing as a condition of the settlement. 

In 2022, CNN reported that Golubski had been charged with conspiracy to run a sex trafficking ring with a local drug dealer in the 1990s as well as the rape of a teenage girl and a woman while “acting under the color of law” which means he used his badge to commit those particular sexual assaults. According to CNN, it was not until Team Roc, the social justice minded arm of Jay-Z’s company Roc Nation, used a full-page advertisement in the Washington Post to call for the Justice Department to investigate both Golubski and the Kansas City Police Department that the case received national attention. At the time, Team Roc referred to it as “one of the worst examples of abuse of power in U.S. history.”