A Kansas City woman went viral after a flame-throwing public comment during a meeting of that city’s Board of Police Commissioners. KJ Brooks is the internet’s latest hero after she joined in protests to remove Kansas City, Missouri’s police chief, taking each individual commissioner to task and calling for the entire police department to be pulled down around their heads.
In a series of clips, Brooks called on each board member by name and listed out their individual shortcomings, beyond their baked-in support of the Kansas City Police Department. She said one member was wearing a “vomit-colored suit” and “in desperate need of Boseley and a hair cut.” She lambasted church-affiliated members for their un-Christian support of unjust systems.
She closed with a Bible verse from “the book you hellbound people claim to love so much,” after noting that Jesus was an unarmed Black man killed by the state.
“What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” she said, quoting from the chapter of Mark in which Jesus feeds the four thousand, then asks all to give up their lives and follow him.
The clips spread quickly beyond Kansas City, with many on Twitter feeling inspired by KJ Brooks' straight-forward verbal decimation of bureaucrats who cause harm.
Brooks was seemingly surprised by the way the clip spread, but used the moment to promote her collective work to end state oppression of Black, Latinx and indigenous people.
Community activists have pushed for Police Chief Rick Smith's resignation, arguing he's mishandled complaints related to excessive force and fatal shootings of Black men carried out by his department. The civilian board meeting disruption was meant to show that the business of the committee will not be allowed to continue until they move on this issue.
“We have no confidence in his ability to build community trust and respect," Urban League of Greater KC CEO Gwendolyn Grant explained during her comments. "It is obvious by his feckless leadership over this department that there is racism inside the department and racism in the policies, practices and procedures that are perpetrated against our communities.”