In the highly unlikely possibility that a Kansas police officer’s body camera gets turned off during an incident, it might be the result of a new state law signed on Thursday by Governor Jeff Colyer. The law states that it is illegal for a Kansas cop to have sex with someone pulled over for a traffic violation or someone detained in a criminal investigation.
As the Wichita Eagle reports, the new law bans sexual relations “during the course of a traffic stop, a custodial interrogation, an interview in connection with an investigation, or while the law enforcement officer has such person detained.”
Before the law, introduced by Democratic Rep. Cindy Holscher, was passed, Kansas was one of 33 states without a similar law on the books. Holscher told the Wichita Eagle that two cases catalyzed her to take action. One was the case of Lamont McIntyre of Kansas City, who was finally released last year after 23 years in prison after being convicted of a crime he had not committed. Investigators in his case found that the detective who arrested him had been forcing women in Kansas City’s black community, including McIntyre’s mother, to have sex with him by threatening to arrest them or their relatives. McIntyre’s mother testified that she believed the detective targeted her son after she rejected the detective’s manipulations.
The other case Holscher cited revolved around a teenager in New York who alleged she had been raped by two police officers in the back of their van last October. The alleged attack started in a Coney Island Chipotle parking lot and then continued as the partners drove through Bay Ridge. The officers claimed that the sex had been consensual.
Both sides of the political aisle supported Holscher’s bill. Rep. John Carmichael (D-Wichita), an attorney and member of the Judiciary Committee, was surprised the law was not already on the books, saying, “Those of us who have been there for a few years thought it was something that had already been taken care of in the law.” He added of Holscher, “She called me about this. I said, ‘You mean it’s not against the law?’ She said, ‘No, it’s not.’ I checked with the revisor (of statutes) and it was not specifically against the law in Kansas.”
Rep. John Whitmer, a Republican from Wichita, stated, “Most officers are great guys and women who are working hard, but there’s always the one.”