Keiajah “KJ” Brooks went viral this week for expressing her frustrations with Police Chief Rick Smith at the Kansas City Board of Commissioners meeting. Brooks demanded that Smith be fired for his continued mismanagement of complaints related to the fatal shootings of Black residents.
“Fair warning, I’m not nice and I don’t seek to be respectable,” Brooks began.
“I’m not asking you all for anything because you all can’t and won’t be both my savior and my oppressor. I don’t want reform. I want to turn this building into luxury low-cost housing. These would make some really nice apartments.”
The Kansas City resident's concerns are backed by the state's highest homelessness rate. The state of Missouri has reported that nearly 40,000 students experienced homelessness in 2019. Nearby states like Kansas, Iowa and Arkansas all have less than 15,000 homeless students.
“So, I’m not here begging anything of soulless white folks and self-preserving Black folks,” Brooks added.
“You get one life and you all in this room have chosen profits over people. And that’s pathetic. So, I’m going to spend the next two minutes reading you all for filth, something I’m sure nobody has ever done.”
Brooks went on to call out each local official in the room. She called members of the commissioners board "rich," "white," and "disconnected." The Kansas City resident later added that one member was “subjecting Black people to terrorism and un-Christ-like behavior.”
As she went on, Brooks directly addressed Rick Smith's work as the police chief. Under his leadership, citizens like Joshua Bills and Breona Hill have been brutalized by the police. More recently, a pregnant Black woman named Deja Stallings was brutalized on camera.
“While these idiots hold you on a pedestal, God does not honor injustice and murder,” she told Smith.
Brooks eventually ended her speech with a bible verse dedicated those who stood before her.
“What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”
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