Kansas governor creates commission on racial justice issues

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly has appointed a commission to examine policing and other racial justice issues and named the superintendent of Topeka’s public schools and a state university administrator to lead it.

Kelly issued an executive order Wednesday to create the 14-member Commission on Racial Equity and Justice and said it would focus first on relationships between law enforcement agencies and the communities they police. She said it will develop policy proposals for both state and local officials.

The governor promised her administration would tackle such issues following George Floyd’s death May 25 in Minnesota. Floyd, a Black man, was pleading for air as a white Minneapolis police officer held a knee to his neck for nearly eight minutes, and his death inspired global protests.

The leaders of Kelly’s new commission are Topeka Superintendent Tiffany Anderson and Shannon Portillo, associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Kansas campus in Overland Park.

Other commission members include Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree, Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay, Lawrence public schools Superintendent Anthony Lewis and DeAngela Burns-Wallace, the state Department of Administration’s top administrator.