KCPD’s first black officer to die in the line of duty gets place of honor Thursday
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 23, 2014
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KCPD Media Unit
KCPD’s first black officer to die in the line of duty gets place of honor
The first black Kansas City Police officer to die in the line of duty now will have a special place of honor at KCPD’s Trail of Heroes.
A bench dedication ceremony for Barney Jasper will take place at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24, at the Trail of Heroes. The entrance to the trail is located just west of the Shoal Creek Patrol Division at 6801 N.E. Pleasant Valley Road.
An unknown assailant shot the back of Officer Jasper’s head and leg the night of Jan. 21, 1924, near 518 Forest Ave. Investigators believed the suspect hid behind a fence to shoot Officer Jasper.
The Kansas City Post reported the following day, “Police believe Jasper was mistaken by his assailants for Louis Center, also a Negro patrolman, whose life had been threatened by bootleggers in the vicinity. … (Both Jasper’s and Center’s) beat was in the heart of the bootlegging district of Little Italy, according to police.”
Officer Jasper died Jan. 22, 1924, at the age of 31. He was survived by his wife, Henrietta, and is buried at Highland Cemetery.
The KCPD Building Operations Unit maintains the Trail of Heroes, which honors fallen officers and other police department members. Building Operations Technicians Andre Hill and Fredric Sims wanted to honor Officer Jasper and draw attention to this important person in Kansas City History, so they raised $500 from police department members to purchase a bench for him at the Trail of Heroes.
The Kansas City Missouri Police Department has employed black officers since its inception in 1874. Of the 119 officers killed in the line of duty, five have been black.
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