A former deputy chief of the Kansas City Police Department filed a federal civil rights suit this week against the police board and a former chief.
Kevin E. Masters, who served in the department for 27 years before retiring as deputy chief in 2012, contended in his suit that former Chief James Corwin unfairly disciplined him in 2009.
In his suit, Masters, who is black, acknowledged telling a Lee’s Summit police dispatcher that Kansas City would not enforce traffic warrants pending against his barber, who had been stopped there for a traffic violation. Arresting the barber also would have meant bringing in the barber’s autistic 5-year-old child, which Masters said he determined to be “potentially dangerous and potentially liability-producing.”
The suit alleged that Corwin heard about the call and suspended Masters for three days. The reprimand dashed any hope that Masters had to become police chief for any smaller department after his retirement, the suit contended.
Masters contended that white commanders whose conduct raised more questions than his were not disciplined.