A Kansas City man has come to an agreement of $900,000 with the Kansas City Police Department after he was arrested and detained for three weeks for a crime that he did not commit.
Four years ago, Tyree Bell’s family filed a civil rights lawsuit for what happened to be an unlawful arrest against then 15-year-old Bell, according to a KCUR report.
“It was a part of a national disgrace that has been allowed to persist among white police for 40 years: cross-race identifications of Black males by white officers are often wrong,” Kansas City lawyer Arthur Benson said.
Benson continued “And they are often wrong because too many police departments do not train their officers that all Blacks do not look alike and how to make an eyewitness identification that is not tainted by racial stereotypes. Tyree Bell was a victim of the Kansas City Police Department’s failure to address this national outrage.
Bell told Fox 4 KC that “it’s only money” and what he really wants to see “is for the police department to all come together and put an organization together for the Black community, for the community in general, so they can get to know everybody.”
Tyree Bell was walking home from a relative’s house on Jun. 8, 2016, when he was stopped by the police. The officers were responding to a call that reported three Black males playing on the corner with guns.
When police attempted to approach the suspects, they ran away and one tossed a gun during the police chase. Approximately seven minutes later, an officer noticed Bell walking about a mile away, and he appeared to be talking to someone on his cellphone. Even though Bell was taller than the original suspect, had on different clothing, and wore his hair in a different style, he was still placed on a 24-hour investigative hold.
Bell ultimately spent three weeks in jail without being charged. He was released after a detective watched the patrol car footage from his arrest and came to the conclusion that his attire and appearance did not match those of the suspect.
During the very long legal battle, Bell says that his family was his biggest support during the entire process.