KANSAS CITY (AP) — Kansas City Councilman Eric Bunch said Tuesday that Police Chief Rick Smith should resign or be fired because “he is not doing the job we need him to do.”
Bunch is the first councilman to call for Smith to leave office. Civil rights leaders have wanted Smith to resign or be fired for years, and the calls gained momentum after social justice demonstrations in Kansas City last summer.
Bunch cited the city's mushrooming gun violence and police officers' use of force against citizens, The Kansas City Star reported.
“How many more people in this community need to die by gun violence before this Board of Police Commissioners decides that we need new leadership?” Bunch said. “I think it’s appalling.”
Smith does not plan to resign, police spokesman Capt. David Jackson said.
The city council does not have authority over the Kansas City police department, which is operated by a Board of Commissioners appointed by the governor.