KCK critical groups plan to review ex-cop Golubski’s cases

The Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department on Monday promised to review 155 cases that were investigated by Detective Roger Golubski, who faces federal charges for allegedly using his position to rape women and protect sex traffickers.

But outside groups, including the Midwest Innocence Project, have criticized the proposed plan, saying it “offers no hope of accountability” and should instead be carried out by independent federal officials.

At a news conference, Police Chief Karl Oakman said he was assembling a team of detectives and commanders to review the 155 investigations Golubski was involved in when he was a detective from 1988 to 2002.

The review, which could take 18 to 24 months, will examine whether the policy was followed in these cases and whether the investigative techniques used were ethical and legal, among other things, says Oakman. The FBI and the Wyandotte County District Attorney’s Office, which works with the KCKPD, will be contacted for further investigation if any issues are found, he said.

Oakman was joined by Mayor Tyrone Garner and District Attorney Mark Dupree, who collectively pledged to answer the community’s cries and questions about the disgraced cop’s tenure. A few days earlier, Dupree had secured the county commitment for $1.7 million to digitize decades of records in an effort to examine cases touched by Golubski when he worked at the KCKPD from 1975 to 2010, including as a captain, and then in Edwardsville, where he was a detective until 2016.

County officials will hold a special session at 4 p.m. Tuesday to determine where that funding will come from, Dupree said.

KCM_Golubskicasereviewpress (3)
Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree, left, spoke at a press conference Monday afternoon about the opening of an investigation into cases handled by the former Kansas City, Kansas, police detective. Roger Golubsky. Karl Oakman, Kansas City, Kansas, police chief, is at right. Rich Suggestions rsugg@kcstar.com

Golubski, who is white, was indicted in September on civil rights charges for allegedly sexual assault and kidnapping two black women, including a minor, from 1998 to 2002.

The former cop was then among four men charged this month in a separate case alleging he helped run a sex trafficking operation in the 1990s at apartments run by convicted drug dealer Cecil Brooks.

Oakman on Monday called the allegations against Golubski “deplorable,” saying he caused pain to members of the KCK community and “disgrace to the badge.”

“Based on these charges, Goubski’s tenure in law enforcement was a moral, ethical and legal failure,” Oakman told reporters.

But Oakman said Golubski’s alleged conduct is not representative of officers today, adding he will not tolerate bribery. He pointed out that he had implemented changes since becoming chief last year, including the creation of a cold cases team to look into unsolved homicides, especially “those involving female victims “.

Activists who have long called for a broader US Justice Department investigation into the KCK police have said the review should be carried out by an outside agency.

“As a department that shielded and shielded Golubski, the KCKPD should not come close to reviewing his cases,” PLUS2an interfaith social justice organization, said in a statement.

Lawyers for Lamonte McIntyre, who spent 23 years in prison for murders he did not commit, have long claimed Golubski set him up, raising questions about other cases he investigated in which prisoners claim they are innocent. These attorneys also alleged that many of the homicides were “inadequately investigated” or not prosecuted because Golubski was protect drug dealers.

On Monday, attorneys for the Midwest Innocence Project and the law firm Morgan Pilate, which represented McIntyre, said the review of Golubski’s cases should ideally be conducted by the Justice Department in a “model” investigation. and practical”. They said the KCKPD promoted Golubski as he “relentlessly and intentionally” violated residents’ constitutional and human rights.

“As a direct result of Golubski’s actions, many people were wrongfully convicted of crimes they had nothing to do with, grieving families who lost loved ones suffered without justice, and violent criminals were left free to prey on others,” said Tricia Rojo Bushnell, director. of the Midwest Innocence Project, and attorneys Cheryl Pilate and Lindsay Runnels of Morgan Pilate said in a statement. “The decades of wrongdoing not only have a continuing impact on the present, but the wrongdoing itself continues.”

Former Kansas City, Kansas police detective Roger Golubski testified October 24, 2022 at the Wyandotte County Courthouse during a hearing for two prisoners who claim to be innocent of a 1997 murder. Émilie Curiel ecuriel@kcstar.com

Lawyers noted that the Wyandotte County Unified Government argued in court this year that McIntyre’s mother “don’t believe it” when she said she was sexually assaulted by Golubski in the 1980s at police headquarters.

“These are not the actions of a system ready to correct and acknowledge the profound damage it has caused,” the lawyers said. “We cannot and will not accept a review that takes place behind closed doors at police headquarters.”

Dania Diaz, chief executive of Team ROC – an arm of rapper Jay-Z’s entertainment company, which has been involved with KCK and last year facilitated donations for the Midwest Innocence Project – called it ‘imperative’ that the DOJ launches a model-or-practice investigation, which is used to examine unconstitutional police practices.

“Given the widespread and longstanding allegations of corruption within the KCKPD, the idea that local law enforcement can responsibly investigate themselves is delusional,” Diaz said.

Asked about the criticism, Oakman said he had never met Golubski and that the former detective “doesn’t control anything” at KCKPD. He said if the department’s review found current corruption, he would “absolutely” support a DOJ investigation.

The FBI is not investigating any current KCK officers, Oakman added.

“It’s not your great-grandfather’s KCK police department,” he said.

This story was originally published November 21, 2022 4:44 p.m.

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Luke Nozicka is an investigative journalist who focuses on criminal justice in Missouri and Kansas. In 2021, his reporting was credited with helping free Kevin Strickland, a Kansas City man who spent more than 40 years in prison for a triple murder he didn’t commit. Nozicka is now reporting on the police in Kansas City, Kansas. Prior to joining The Star, he covered the courts for The Des Moines Register.

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