Kansas City: Tenants Protest for Eviction Moratorium Extension at Two Judge’s Homes

By Brian Martel

The housing struggle organization Kansas City (KC) Tenants held a rally outside of Judge Kyndra Stockdale’s home on January 19, followed by a rally outside of Judge Mary Weir’s home on January 21.

Judge Stockdale has heard over 835 eviction cases since last June and has issued 361 eviction orders, more than any other Jackson County judge. Judge Stockdale heard the eviction of Donald Smith, who was shot by the deputies carrying out his eviction.

If not for the temporary eviction moratorium put in place by Judge Dale Youngs after KC Tenants’ demonstration at his home earlier this month, Judge Stockdale would have heard another 90 evictions on Tuesday. That day approximately 50 people demonstrated outside of Stockdale’s home, demanding she petition Judge Youngs to extend the eviction moratorium.

Activists attempted to hang a banner on Stockdale’s porch reading “Shame on Judge Stockdale. 835+ COVID eviction hearings 361 eviction judgments,” but when stopped by the police they instead placed it on a hedge in her yard. Attendees read testimonies of their own and other tenants’ evictions.

On Thursday, KC Tenants held another demonstration outside the home of Judge Weir, who has the second highest rate of eviction orders after Judge Stockdale. Activists again demanded that Judge Weir petition for an extended moratorium and hammered a banner into the ground before police arrived.

“What else are we supposed to do?” one supporter addressed the crowd. “We wrote letters, we made phone calls, we tried just being outside the courthouse. That didn’t work. We’re not going away.”

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