Defending Cops That Kill – Lance LoRusso. Nation Inside and Second Chance, Advocating For Sensible Policy


On Today’s show we look at the issue of police violence and police killing from the point of view of the officer. Our guest will talk about how law enforcement deals with threatening situations, how they assess safety in those situations and why they use deadly force.

Host Keith Brown El talks with Lance LoRusso, an attorney, former law enforcement officer, and author of the book, WHEN COPS KILL: THE AFTERMATH OF A CRITICAL INCIDENT TAKES YOU THROUGH AN OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING AND THE YEARS AFTER. Mr LoRusso is an attorney for officers whose actions are under investigation by the authorities and the public. Many will see him as defending the indefensible while many others will see him as defending heroes of law and order.
Some of the issues covered in his book are:
What does it mean to be sued as a law enforcement officer?
What will happen during the internal affairs investigation?
Should you speak with the homicide division?
Will the state licensing agency investigate as well?
How will you handle the media coverage and public attention?

To contact the LoRusso Law Firm or get his book check them out online at

Nation Inside and Second Chance

We recently ran across a request for formerly incarcerated citizens to call in and record their stories of searching for a job with a conviction. This request came from Nation Inside – Powering Campaigns for Justice.

Nation Inside is a platform that connects and supports people who are building a movement to systematically challenge mass incarceration in the United States. Nation Inside is a community of people dedicated to changing the U.S. criminal justice system by using our collective voices to
spark public dialogue about criminal justice, educating policy makers and
develop strategies for safer and healthier communities. You can find them at or to listen to some of the stories gathered by Nation Inside go to

Host Allie Catherine Bush will talk to a representative of Nation Inside about their advocacy and training opportunities as well as Debra Neal of the Second Chance program here in the metropolitan KC area.

The Kansas City Metropolitan Crime Commission, with a mission of public safety, launched the Second Chance Program in October of 2008. Unique in this area, the program offers leadership and work that organizes the entire metro social service community to reduce recidivism and support of Missouri Probation & Parole by providing direct service work to connect high risk returning offenders to services.

If you would like to volunteer to be a mentor or want more information about mentoring with Second Chance contact:

Deborah A. Neal
Mentor Coordinator

Second Chance Program
Kansas City Crime Commission
2700 E. 18th Street., Room 207
Kansas City, MO 64127
Office 816-231-0450
Fax 816-231-8828

Local playwrights Cynthia Hardeman, Michelle T. Johnson and Teresa Leggard share insights and experience

Today on Urban Connections local playwrights Cynthia Hardiman, Michelle T. Johnson and Teresa Leggard talk about their upcoming Fringe production and their experiences as Black Women playwrights.

Cynthia Hardeman is a family services advocate by day and playwright by night. She is the recent winner of Kansas City’s 2013 Project Playwright II competition. Her plays have been seen at the Unicorn’s 2012 Gala playwright’s showcase and the 2012 InTENsity Showcase at Fishtank Performance Studio, produced by Frank Higgins. Her play “Truth Be Dead” was chosen as a finalist in the 2012 WordBRIDGE Playwrights Laboratory at Center Stage Theatre in Baltimore, MD. She then received a reading at The Unicorn Theatre in 2013, and the original premiere production as “Truth Stands” was in the 2013-2014 season at Coppin State University in Baltimore, MD. Cynthia’s full-length work is scheduled to have its World Premiere here in Kansas City at the Just Off Broadway Theatre in February of 2015. Cynthia writes plays because she wants to touch people, to reach people, to make them feel something, somehow, someway trapped in a moment they would otherwise ignore.”

Michelle T. Johnson is a Kansas City-based local and national diversity consultant and speaker. She has three published books on diversity, has a freelance column in the Kansas City Star as the “Diversity Diva” and is the Diversity Coordinator at St. Paul’s Episcopal Day School.

Johnson is also a playwright whose plays have been produced in the Barn Players of Mission, Kansas’ “2011 Six By Ten Festival,” the 2012 Kansas City Fringe Festival and by Potluck Productions in 2012. She was selected as a featured playwright in the Unicorn Theater’s Writer Showcase in February 2013, as a participant in the 2013 Project Playwright 2.0 competition and had her micro-play read at the 2013 World Theater Day celebration held by Mind The Gap Theater in New York City. She has had her plays picked and produced for playwriting festivals in Houston, Texas and Medford, Connecticut. Johnson’s play “Wiccans in the ‘Hood” was selected for and produced in the “Midwinter Madness Short Play Festival” in New York City in February 2013 and was the sixth best-attended show out of over 120 acts in the 2013 Kansas City Fringe Festival. Her play “Echoes of Octavia” will be produced by KC Melting Pot Theater next year. Her plays “Trading Places” and an expanded “Wiccans in the ’Hood” will be produced next year in the regular season of Brainspunk Theater of Philadelphia. Her play “The Negro Whisperer” was in the New Work Series Festival in New York City last month.

Teresa Leggard is a writer, editor, poet and playwright.  She’s also a member of The Writers Place, Kansas City’s own literary community center. Her upcoming plays “The Birthday” and “To Bed”  will be featured in the KC Fringe Festival in July 2014, as part of the productions Girl on Girl and More 4Play




ARTSPEAK RADIO presents, Phong Nguyen & Joe Orser

Phong Nguyen curates a very special show based on alternate history with historian/writer Joe Orser.

Phong Nguyen, is a writer, editor, teacher, and author of “Pages from The Textbook of Alternate History.” He is editor of Pleiades and author of Memory Sickness and Other Stories. Nguyen teaches fiction and American literature at the University of Central Missouri, where he lives with his wife, artist Sarah Nguyen, and their three children.

Joe Orser teaches history and writing at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. His interests include Asian American history, U.S. foreign relations, and cultural history. Before going to grad school to become a historian, Joe worked as a journalist for almost 10 years in Bangkok, Thailand, and his hometown of Gainesville, Florida. “The Lives of Chang and Eng” is his first book.

ARTSPEAK RADIO presents, Sandra Moran

Sandra Moran is a teacher, author and international woman of intrigue.

A native Kansan, Sandra has worked as a newspaper journalist, a political speech writer and an archaeological tour manager. When she’s not running around Kansas City (literally) or torturing college students with the fundamentals of anthropology, she can be found in her lair listening to Pandora and making up stories.

Sandra Moran is a teacher, author and international woman of intrigue.

A native Kansan, Sandra has worked as a newspaper journalist, a political speech writer and an archaeological tour manager. When she’s not running around Kansas City (literally) or torturing college students with the fundamentals of anthropology, she can be found in her lair listening to Pandora and making up stories.

She is happy to be reached at

Big Brother at UPS plus Uber and Lyft

At UPS Telematics is Big Brother, an on-board monitoring system worthy of the NSA. Hear about it this week on The Heartland Labor Forum where we’ll also discuss the latest taxi gimmick: Uber and Lyft. Is it a gypsy cab system or your friend with a car? Thursday at 6pm rebroadcast Friday at 5am.

Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People

As a respected doctor discovers an unsettling truth about his town’s
tourist-friendly baths, he finds that the town’s mayor – his own brother –
can’t let public health get in the way of profit. Henrik Ibsen weighs the cost
of conscience against a town’s livelihood in An Enemy of the People. Starring
Richard Kind and Gregory Harrison.