A lawyer currently helping Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas sue Missouri over police funding is a former advocate for a high-profile cop killer.
Indeed, New York lawyer Debo P. Adegbile was too extreme even for the Democrat-led U.S. Senate to confirm as President Obama’s head of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in 2014.
According to the BBC, “Adegbile wrote legal briefs on behalf of Mumia Abu-Jamal,” the man serving life in prison without parole for the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. The officer was shot in the face and back during a traffic stop of Abu-Jamal’s brother.
When Obama nominated Adegbile to lead the Civil Rights Division, the Fraternal Order of Police called it a “thumb in the eye of law enforcement.”
Then-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell argued at the time that Adegbile had used a previous job to “impugn honorable and selfless law enforcement officers, and glorify an unrepentant cop killer.”
Seven Senate Democrats joined forces with Republicans to block Adegbile’s nomination.
Now Adegbile is one of Lucas’ lawyers suing to overturn a new Missouri law that requires Kansas City to fund its police department at 25% of city general fund revenues. The prior requirement was 20%, but the city had already been funding police at or near 25%.
Lawmakers felt it necessary to pass the law earlier this year after Lucas and a majority of city council members tried last year to claw back and reallocate $42 million from the KCPD budget. A judge ultimately ruled Lucas and his council colleagues violated the law by trying to claw back the funds after having approved the police department’s budget.
In his lawsuit against the state filed Wednesday challenging the 25% law, Lucas is represented by a city attorney, Adegbile and lawyers from St. Louis and Boston.
Lucas claims that the law will force Kansas City to cut such things as the fire department in order to funnel 25% of city general fund revenues to police. Not so, says a state lawmaker, citing the fact that the city has been allocating that amount to police for years.
“The comment where this will cost the city or will put the city in a position where they will have to pull funds from other services like fire, parks and things of that nature, that’s not true,” state Rep. Doug Richey, R-Excelsior Springs, told the Kansas City Star.
After having attempted to quarantine $42 million of the police budget last year – the department would have had to negotiate with the city manager to get back any of it – Lucas now claims in a statement that police supporters are “attempting to politicize policing in Kansas City at a time we sorely need bipartisan solutions to violent crime.”
The Heartlander asked a Lucas spokesperson about the optics and judgment involved in his hiring a legal advocate for a cop killer in order to sue the state over police funding.