The Kansas City, Kan., Police Department today issued a statement that it is aware of a protest at Secretary of State Kris Kobach's house in the Piper neighborhood of Kansas City, Kan., on Saturday and police are investigating it to determine if the protesters violated the law.
An immigration rally was held on Saturday at Trinity Community Church. The sponsors included Advocates for Immigrant Rights and Reconciliation, the Metropolitan Organization for Racial and Economic Equality, and Sunflower Community Action.
Afterward, some of the protesters went to Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's house in the Piper neighborhood of Kansas City, Kan., to protest.
Kobach was quoted in several other media sources as saying he is considering pressing charges. Kobach reportedly wasn't home at the time.
Former Unified Government Commissioner Bill Miller, who lives down the street from Kobach, said he read about it the next day and was surprised. Miller was not home at the time. Because of the way the streets are configured, it wouldn't have affected him, he said.
UG Commissioner Mike Kane, who represents the Piper area, said he just saw it on video today, and didn't know much about the incident. Going to a home to protest is an approach he personally would not take, he said, although going to their office is different.
Wyandotte County GOP Chairman Mark Gilstrap said he thought the incident was "terrible" and "uncalled for."
"I know Kris and his wife and young children, and I'm glad to hear they weren't home when it happened. It would have scared the little kids. There's a right time and a right place, and I thought it was pretty bad."
In his personal experience at protesting at abortion clinics, Gilstrap, a former state senator, said usually protesters have to stay on the sidewalk, and can be arrested if they go on the property. He said he always abided by the rules.
The GOP wants Mayor Mark Holland to make a statement or an explanation, he said.
Kobach is still scheduled to speak Tuesday evening at a Wyandotte County GOP event, Gilstrap said. He said he has asked Police Chief RIck Armstrong and Wyandotte County Sheriff Don Ash to keep an eye on things, and he said they were happy to do it.
Mayor Holland said that the group met at Trinity Community Church, where he is the pastor, but the group was not affiliated with his church.
"They just signed up like any other group," he said. "We had no idea they were going to do that (go to Kobach's home). Certainly I had nothing to do with it, either as a church or city."
Mayor Holland said he called Kobach's Topeka office today to make sure he knew that the church and Holland had nothing to do with it.
He added that many community groups use the church for their events. The groups fill out a form and pay a small fee to cover custodial services. "We open our church doors pretty wide to the community for their activities, we're glad to provide space to our community," he said. "We have both Democrats and Republicans in our church and we don't get involved in partisan politics."
Kelly Kultala, a former state senator who lives in the Piper area, said she didn't agree with the group going to Kobach's house, especially when he has little children. "That would be scary," she said.
However, she added she understood from reading the news that the group couldn't find him at his office.
Kultala said Kobach's quote in other news stories on his Second Amendment rights were "over the top," but added she understood concerns about having small children at home.
It's not the first time a protest has been held in front of an official's home in Wyandotte County.
"Many years ago, some group did that to Carol Marinovich, protested in front of her home, and it doesn't go over well with the public, and the neighbors didn't appreciate it," Kultala recalled.
Kultala said she thinks some groups are just trying to get more publicity out of this incident. "Mayor Holland had nothing to do with this," she added.
It's likely that each political side will just state their points and run with it, according to Kultala.
"It sounds like a peaceful protest, respectful of property; still, he's got small children and they would have been frightened," she said.
The bigger immigration issue news today was the U.S. Supreme Court throwing out the Arizona law that required those who registered with motor-voter to show proof of their citizenship.
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