“Please call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS if you have any information that could help police in their investigation,” pleads Kathy Quinn of fox4kc in regard to a fatal shooting in Westport, but the Kansas City Police Department does not make its job any easier by withholding key information.
Says Quinn, “Police have not yet released a detailed description of the suspects.” The police have, however, shared the color of the handgun, black, and the color of the SUV, maroon, but they have withheld the race and/or ethnicity of the suspects.
Zachary Pearce, 24, and a male friend also in his 20’s were walking home from the Westport entertainment area late Sunday night when the maroon SUV pulled up alongside them at 40th and Walnut, one block east of Main Street. According to the Kansas City Star, “One of the people inside the vehicle pulled out a gun and demanded the victims’ phones and wallets.” (italics added).
Both men complied, but the “robber” chose to shoot and kill Pearce for no seeming reason. He died in the street, the 134th homicide victim in Kansas City this year. To put this number in perspective, New York City in 2017 has less than twice as many homicides as Kansas City despite having 18 times more people. In other words, a young man stands roughly a 9 times better chance of being killed in Kansas City than in New York City. On Sunday night, in Westport, the statistics caught up with Zachary Pearce.
The Star describes the shooter as “one of the people.” Fox4kc describes the shooter as a “passenger.” The surviving victim identified the color of the handgun, but the police are being coy not only about the color of the shooter, but also about the shooter’s gender.
This would be understandable if the police were uniformly tight lipped about the race and gender of suspects, but they are clearly not. This imbalance in reporting leads to an imbalance in perception which leads, ironically, to an increase in pushback against the police and an increase in crime.
Mayor James, where are you?