Update: KC Activist Warns Drivers of Checkpoints

In September, I told you the story of KC activist, Michael Mikkelson, and his mission to warn Kansas City drivers of the checkpoints that he viewed as intrusive and a violation of an individuals right to be secure in their person and property.  In the course of Mikkelson’s activism, he has endured harassment by the Kansas city police department, including being handcuffed and placed in a patrol car and having his “Checkpoint Ahead” sign stolen out of his hands by an officer.  In response to the theft of his property, Mikkelson filed an official complaint that was investigated by the KCPD Internal Affairs and reviewed by the Office of Community Complaints.  Unsurprisingly, the Office of Community Complaints found that no policies or procedures were violated by the offending officer and that no further action will be taken.  Here is the first page of the letter Mikkelson received in response to his complaint.


Apparently, the Kansas City police department has no policy against stealing someone’s property.  The author of the letter, Director I. Pearl Fain, somehow seems to believe that the fact that the property was not destroyed is important to the matter.  Can I use that as a defense if I steal someone’s property?  “But I didn’t destroy it judge, I only took it!” It seems apparent that the Office of Community Complaints did not approve of the message on Mikkelson’s sign and therefore chose to ignore the blatant misconduct on the part of the officer.

Fain also makes the ludicrous claim that Mikkelson was somehow interfering with official police business, even though he was almost a mile away from the checkpoint.  How did Mikkelson interfere with something he was not near?  The “official police business” of a DUI checkpoint is to stop every car that comes through the checkpoint.  Mikkelson’s actions did not prevent them from doing just that.

It should also be noted that the KCPD publicizes these checkpoints before hand, so Mikkelson is only doing what the police do themselves.  The only difference is that he takes his public announcement to the streets instead of to the newspaper.

The get tough on drunk driving crowd will inevitably side with the police in this case because they believe that Mikkelson is protecting drunk drivers, but they should save their ire for the police themselves.  Checkpoints are intrusive and much less effective then the less expensive DUI saturation patrols.  If anything is interfering with the “official police business” of supposedly keeping the streets safe from drunk drivers, it is the police themselves, and their insistence on holding these checkpoints instead of the more effective alternative.

If you would like to contact I. Pearl Fain, Director of the Office of Community Complaints to voice your concerns about this case, you can call 816-889-6641.

Paula Parmeley Carter

Paula is a Staff Writer at CopBlock. She advocates ending the monopoly on policing and protection services. When not writing at CopBlock she enjoys being a wife and mother, reading and drinking good beer.