Overland Park Police Department responds to questions regarding protests

Friday night, Overland Park Police officers monitoring a protest near 116th and Quivira arrested four people.

Prior to the protest, the Overland Park Police Department held conversations with both the protest organizers and residents living near the expected protest area. The Department also received information that there may be counterprotests during the planned protest.

Beginning at about 8 p.m. on Friday, approximately 30 people gathered at Johnson County Community College and made their way south on Quivira and into a nearby residential area.

To ensure both the safety of the protesters and the residents who live in the area, two Overland Park bicycle officers escorted the group.

Throughout the protest, many protesters were acting peacefully, staying on the public sidewalk and off the street and private property. However, some protestors were repeatedly instructed to return to the sidewalk and did not do so. Overland Park Municipal Code requires that when there is a sidewalk available, pedestrians walk on the sidewalk and not the street.

Additional police officers responded to the area. Some were wearing tactical gear, including helmets with radios, which provide officers a better ability to block out noise and communicate in loud situations.

Police officers at the protest were given the option to remove name badges but were required to continue to wear uniforms identifying themselves as Overland Park Police officers. This option was temporarily allowed in order to protect police officers from recent local “doxxing” concerns.

Three of the people arrested were charged in Overland Park Municipal Court and released early Saturday.

During the protest and arrests, an Overland Park police officer was injured, suffering scrapes and bruises on their knee. A fourth person was charged with battery of a law enforcement officer in the Johnson County District Court on Saturday and released.

Following the arrests, the protestors left the residential area, returning to the area of College and Quivira.

“My department is committed to the safety of our great city,” said Overland Park Police Chief Frank Donchez. “Overland Park welcomes a variety of voices through safe protesting. We must work together to ensure all voices are heard.”

Neither Overland Park nor the Police Department restricted cell phone coverage during the protest as has been stated publicly. Overland Park does not have the technology nor the authority to do so.

The uncut body camera videos below shows two officers’ viewpoints of the protest and provides additional context for the arrests that were made.