Community activist asks police for support after anti-violence event shut down

By: Sarah Plake

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Community activist Desmound Logan addressed the Board of Police at its meeting Tuesday, asking for support for his anti-violence event, which he said the police shut down without notice. 

"People always say all of these people are dying and nobody's doing anything, and then us as men steps up and does something, and they tear us down," Logan told 41 Action News. 

Logan said the hard work he put into his anti-violence event was shattered on August 6, when police shut it down. 

Smoke Your Tires, Not The Homies went on every Sunday for two months at 59th & Prospect to give the community something to do. What started as a small event grew to hundreds of people gathering at a lot to watch car enthusiasts do donuts. Logan said he bought barricades and bounce houses for the kids and was planning to do a back-to-school giveaway.  

"Within a radius of 55th to 63rd, both sides of the street, no drama," Logan said. 

Police officers were present at all the events. 

"It's a very, very rare chance that the police actually get to hang out with the kids in the community, so we built a great relationship," Logan said. 

A shooting took place a couple blocks away from the event on the last Sunday of July, prompting the police commanders to threaten a shutdown because Logan didn't have a permit. 

Councilwoman Alissia Canady spoke on Desmound's behalf at the Board of Police meeting. She said she had arranged for additional police presence at the August 6 event, but no one informed them police were coming to shut it down. 

"They came tactical. They came strapped up, you know what I mean, but it was uncalled for. That's what I didn't want to happen because the whole mood just shifted," Logan said. 

Cellphone video captured the scene of multiple police officers and vehicles. Logan said they drew guns on the co-organizer after he did a donut in his car. 

"When you talk about building community, there were other ways we could've approached it," Canady said to the BOP. 

Logan said the officers could have talked to him directly without stirring up tensions with the community. 

KCPD told 41 Action News there was a miscommunication, but a shutdown was necessary because of how big the event grew without a permit. 

Desmound smoothed things over with police afterward but said the community needs their support now more than ever. 

"We gave them somewhere to go every Sunday to do circles, so now you take that away - what you think is going to happen?" Logan said. 

Logan asked the BOP to help him find a different location for the event. He said he'll pay for a permit, but the police knew the past eight weeks he didn't have one. 

Logan's address to the BOP drew applause, and a promise from the board and Mayor Sly James to look into ways to hold the event in the future.