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Smoky Hill Museum
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Justice Department Event Opens Civil Rights Talks

Associated Press - August 13, 2014 7:29 pm

The Kansas Supreme Court says a man serving about 54 years in prison after being convicted in a 1999 rape and robbery case in Lawrence may be entitled to a few more days in court.

The top federal prosecutor in Kansas has told civil rights activists that their complaints are not falling on deaf ears.

U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom spoke Wednesday in Wichita at a civil rights symposium that drew about 100 law enforcement officials and community advocates.

Grissom called the event an opportunity to open a dialogue and talk about things that might otherwise divide people.

One participant said the fear of racial profiling is so real among black parents in Kansas that they have taught their sons how to speak respectfully to police during traffic stops.

A study of traffic citations has found that blacks make up 11 percent of Wichita’s population but are issued nearly 22 percent of traffic tickets.