Posted on August 1, 2023

Founder of KC Nonprofit Focused On Preventing Re-Incarceration Is Charged With Murder

Anna Spoerre, Kansas City Star, July 31, 2023

A Kansas City entrepreneur who is locally lauded for his work helping to prevent people from being incarcerated has been charged with murder in a mid-July homicide.

Na’im Al-Amin, 44, of Kansas City, was charged on July 17 with one count of second-degree murder, two counts of armed criminal action and one charge of unlawful use of a weapon, court records show. Al-Amin is the founder and CEO of Swagg Inc., a nonprofit focused on preventing people from being incarcerated and helping those released from prison to re-enter society.

Na'im Al-Amin

Na’im Al-Amin


At about 1:52 a.m. on July 14, police were called to the area of East 83rd Street and Troost Avenue on a report of shots fired, according to charging documents. {snip}

Several hours later, at about 9 a.m., Kansas City police were called back to the area where a man was found lying in the backyard of a home near the 1300 block of East 81st Terrace. The victim, later identified as Todd Tillman, 36, was declared dead at the scene, police told media at the time.


Al-Amin’s face had been shared all over local news in recent years for another reason. He has a compelling narrative, and one intertwined with hope and perseverance.

Al-Amin tells the story often: He was 8 years old the first time he was put into handcuffs, he wrote in a 2021 guest blog for the DeBruce Foundation.

Then a boy from Junction City, Kansas, but raised in the foster care system in Los Angeles, Al-Amin had been caught trying to rob someone.

“Since then, I spent time in juvenile detention, county jail, and finally, in prison,” he wrote. {snip}

In between his second prison stint and his third, Al-Amin, who at that point had a degree in sociology, said he couldn’t find work after college. His cannabis conviction followed him, he said in a Kansas State University profile.

In 2018, before he was released from prison the most recent time, Al-Amin said he started dreaming up an idea for a nonprofit that would provide re-entry services to folks like himself; re-entry services that he wasn’t offered.

“The vision for Swagg Inc. was to create a model that innovatively disrupts mass incarceration,” he said in the K-State profile. “I designed what I wish I had. The goal of the program is to create a diversity, equity and inclusion model that elevates returning citizens.”