Photo Essay: Scenes from the Kansas City Hall Plaza occupation

Gabrial Nell

Protesters taped signs onto a statue of Abraham Lincoln in front of City Hall. Multiple signs call for KCPD Police Chief Rick Smith’s resignation, reading, “CHIEF SMITH HAS GOT TO GO!” and “REMOVE CHIEF SMITH.”

Pictured is one of the official witnesses at the occupation, who are brought to be legal observers of the events.
Protesters set up tents, preparing for the rain that came late on Friday night. Protest leaders organized sleeping shifts for the demonstrators, so that there were always people keeping watch.
Protest organizers provided food, water and other beverages for the protesters. Medical professionals and security also attended the occupation to assist and help keep protesters safe.
At the base of the Lincoln statue, the names and photos of people who were killed by police fill poster boards. Other signs at the base of the statue read “KCPD IS GUILTY OF WAR CRIMES” and show the KCPD logo with “KILLER COPS WANTED FOR MURDER” written adjacent to it.
Individuals participating in the demonstration are spaced out on the City Hall Plaza, keeping in line with social distancing measures. Speakers played music throughout the day, but were turned off due to some protesters’ fears that the police would use the noise as a reason to break up the protest.
Attorney and local organizer and activist Stacy Shaw played an instrumental role in organizing the occupation. Shaw attended and organized protests throughout the summer and has been arrested twice during protests.

[email protected]