Matt Campbell, Kansas City Star, July 29, 2014
A circus parade and rally for nonviolence that drew hundreds of people to the Linwood Shopping Center on Tuesday evening had to be cut short when multiple fights broke out.
Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forté said the organizers stopped the event. He tweeted that the crowds dispersed and there were no reported injuries.
But the fighting marred an event, called “Your Life Counts,” that was intended to celebrate survival in a city plagued by crime.
Performers and animals from the UniverSoul Circus paraded north on Prospect Avenue from 39th Street to the rally.
The guest of honor was Ka’Vyea Tyson-Curry, the 10-year-old boy who was paralyzed from the waist down in a Kansas City shooting that killed his father earlier this year.
Alvin Brooks of the Ad Hoc Group Against Crime called Ka’Vyea a leader and encouraged the crowd to continue to pray that he will walk again.
“There are a number of young Ka’Vyeas out there that have been victimized by us,” Brooks said. “Folks who look just like us. Because of the evilness and the mean-spiritedness whenever these things happen.”
Performers in bright costumes walked on stilts through the crowd as Caribbean dancers invited young people from the audience onto the stage to do the limbo.
“Don’t tell me something good can’t happen on Prospect,” Brooks said before the fights broke out.