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Black man says he was harassed by KCI airport police; Highway Patrol to investigate

In a Facebook post, Michael McGill Jr. said a Kansas City International Airport police officer yelled at him and his mother and touched his gun threateningly multiple times.
In a Facebook post, Michael McGill Jr. said a Kansas City International Airport police officer yelled at him and his mother and touched his gun threateningly multiple times.

The Missouri Highway Patrol will investigate the claim of a black man that he was harassed by Kansas City International Airport police.

An Aviation Department spokesman said video exists of the alleged encounter and is part of the investigation.

Michael McGill Jr. posted on Facebook on May 3 that he was being dropped off at a terminal at KCI by his mother early in the morning when the encounter occurred. He said an airport police officer pulled up behind them, began honking and yelled, “You’re in the wrong lane!! Move over, sir — get on the side walk & up against the wall now!”

McGill said his mother began to panic, and the officer asked her for her license.

McGill, whose Facebook page says he is a former mediation counselor for the Hickman Mills School District, said he asked the officer why he was yelling. McGill said he explained that he had a flight to catch and needed to check his luggage.

McGill said the officer touched his gun threateningly three times and said, “This isn’t harassment! And this isn’t about race — don’t you dare say it’s about race.”

McGill said the officer eventually threw his hands up and complained about a lack of respect.

The Facebook post had 22,000 likes and, as of Wednesday afternoon, had received more than 4,600 comments, many of them offering support.

The KCI airport police report to the Kansas City Aviation Department.

“We are aware of the social media post and, per our request, it is presently being investigated by the Missouri Highway Patrol,” department spokesman Joe McBride said Wednesday in an email. “Once the investigation is complete, we or MHP will release the outcome. It is our sincere goal to provide a secure environment, while treating all airport patrons with kindness, compassion and professionalism. We are thankful that our partners at the Missouri Highway Patrol are willing and able to provide their objective investigation to ascertain that this goal was carried out during the customer interaction.”

It is not clear how long the patrol investigation will take.

Matt Campbell: 816-234-4902, @MattCampbellKC

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