Hearne: Where’s the Easter Bunny When You Need Him? Mayor’s Son & The Westport Killing

News coverage can get a little dicey – even high profile murders in Westport – when they go down on Easter Sunday…

So it was that lots of local news organizations had a puzzle piece here, a puzzle piece there concerning the late night shooting of Kendrick L. Williams early Sunday morning. It appears Williams was a 22 year-old rapper who had performed that night at Ink Magazine‘s Middle Of The Map music fest in Westport.

Ink is owned by the Kansas City Star – which used its weekly Preview entertainment insert to plug the fest to Geritol-sipping readers.

And kudos to the Star for doing damage control up front by owning up to the fact that its fest appeared to be at the center of the confusion. As well as for tracking down KC Mayor Sly James’s double talking spokesdude about a rampant rumor that the mayor’s trouble magnet son Kyle James might have been in play at the scene of the crime.

Here’s what the Star reported:

"Police said they found the man after being called to investigate a disturbance at Ink’s Middle of the Map Fest music festival near 40th and Mill streets…

"Responding to reports that Mayor Sly James’ son may have witnessed the shooting, the mayor’s spokesman, Danny Rotert, e-mailed, “whether or not the mayor’s son was near, the shooting adds to a pattern of senseless violence that has to stop.”

Way to dodge the question, bro. 

None of the other reporting I saw dealt with the mayor’s son yesterday.

Now here’s what I was able to track down from a Westporter working the streets there at the time:

"I didn’t hear anything even though I was outside working about two blocks away," the source says. "And none of us there heard anything."

As for the victim Williams, "He was in the grocery store parking lot is what I heard from one of the Westport Security guys," the source says. "Not in Westport proper. That’s where a lot of the black kids hang out late at night, and I heard that Kyle James was there and had some verbal dialogue with the people in the car when it happened."

Speaking of which, KSHB TV reported witnesses told police they saw a burgandy-colored SUV speed away after the shooting.

Fox 4 News lead the news pack by getting quotes from Williams’ mother and two friends.

She told Fox 4 her "only child loved music and he was a rapper who was killed after performing in Westport on Saturday night."

So much for the local blogger who, aside from providing a few links to local news stories, stated incorrectly – according to the victim’s mother and Westport sources – that hip-hop couldn’t be blamed for the killing because the music fest was attended by a crowd that "was almost COMPLETELY white and without a single relevant rap music or hip-hop act."

Hold it right there…

According to Westport sources and the victim’s mom, the shooting took place outside but near the Middle of the Map fest, after the apparently musically irrelevant Williams had finished his gig.

So we’ll see what unfolds Monday and if the mayor’s son can dodge yet another PR bullet to go with the pair he ducked last year.

The first for allegedly refusing to pay his tab at Power & Light District eatery Fran’s, then threatening the arresting, off-duty KCPD cop. Naturally, Fran’s declined to press charges. Who wants to get on the bad side of a new mayor with four years left in office?

Kyle was later accused of punching a woman in the face at midtown bar The Point, but assault charges were dropped after the woman accuser failed to show for the trial. As Glazer might say, "Hmmmmmmm"

As it happens, the mayor’s son has been doing some rapping of his own. Kyle appeared on the album of another local rap artist (who contributed some work to the mayor’s election campaign) last year.

With, choice lines in Kyle’s rap like, "I remember when nobody said that I would be on the front page news. Even my moma told me I should get a real job or go back to school. But I don’t care, I won’t lose."

You can’t make this kinda stuff up, ladies and gentlemen.

Now here’s what Kyle told the Star last year after allegedly popping that chick in the kisser:

This is not the first time I have apologized for what I have done and quite possibly it won’t be the last. I am trying to find myself as a person an individual separate from the circumstances that draw attention to this situation.”

Look, nobody’s saying the mayor’s son was involved in the shooting. But what does he know and will he squeal like a pig? Let’s see how this all shakes out Monday. And if hizzonor stonewalls his son’s curious involvements once again.

Read more here: http://voices.kansascity.com/entries/kyle-james-dilemma/#storylink=cpy
Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/04/08/3542821/man-shot-killed-in-kansas-city.html#storylink=cpy
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32 Responses to Hearne: Where’s the Easter Bunny When You Need Him? Mayor’s Son & The Westport Killing

  1. xxMillerTimexx says:

    You think Jesse Jackson and his like will be in KC?
    I doubt it. The thug culture must stop, it is not cool to be a gangster. And I have one more point, pull up your damn pants, you look retarded.

  2. BarKeeper says:

    Geritol Sipper??
    Hearne…I think we’re about the same age but I haven’t started sipping Geritol yet, and I don’t know if it’s still made. But I wouldn’t let my parrot shit on that rag piece of trash called INK.

    I don’t think the mayor’s son will be satisfied before he does some time in jail and furthers his street cred. There’s just no way Sly is gonna be able to keep him under control. He’s an ego-infested wannabe thug, and it’s just a matter of time.

  3. Dyce says:

    u dont know what you’re talking about
    I used to go to school with both Kyle and Kendrick. They both are good people. You guys make it seem like Kyle is trying to be a bad guy, and honestly from knowing him I would say you’re totally wrong. He didn’t just recently start rapping by the way. Kyle was rapping back when we went to lincoln middle school forever ago. Kendrick was a teamate of mine on the basketball team and they were both smart. I dont like people getting on here and trying to talk down on someone they dont know, and give them a bad rep. Being the mayor’s son people are always waiting to catch Kyle doing something wrong so they can put it in the new and damage his fathers political image by attacking his parenting, atlhough Kyle is an adult therfore Sly James is not responsible for all the incidents they try to throw Kyle’s name into.

  4. BarKeeper says:

    As the Germans Would Say….
    Kyle est der deustchenbaggen! plain and simple.

  5. chuck says:

    First of all Hearne, nice job, outta the park.
    Not one thing here will suprise anyone, the usual violence, and mayhem that African Americans are involved in on an almost unbelievably disproportionate level is seen again, only with the involvement of the Mayor’s son AGAIN.

    This kid makes everyone in Kansas City long for the good ole days of Gloria Squitero. She was sure as hell embarrasing, but she would never punch yor daughter in the face.

    Hey Dyce, thanks for the clarification, — “He didn’t just recently start rapping by the way. Kyle was rapping back when we went to lincoln middle school forever ago. ” Thanks for the curriculum vitae, clarification and a time line is always helpful. Quite an accomplishment.

    Fortunately, Hearne has provided us with this gem.

    “I remember when nobody said that I would be on the front page news. Even my moma told me I should get a real job or go back to school.But I don’t care, I won’t lose.”

    No doubt this was penned by the great man during Science Class.

  6. Smartman says:

    Wrap it up
    If dis wuz da kid
    Of da funk an da squid
    You knows dat da media
    Be talkin what he did

    It’s all outa whack
    Cuz da mayor is black
    His peeps is all love
    No guns and no crack

    So ax of da Sly
    Why did this boy hafta die
    He once was a rapper
    Now life’s in da crapper

    I’d grab that lil bitch Kyle
    And I’d start to slap her
    Grab that lil bitch Kyle
    And I’d start to slap her

  7. John Derbyshire says:

    Have “The Talk” with your kids, soon, very soon.

  8. chuck says:

    Thos Bunnies lool like something out of a Stephen King

    Where were those Bunnies when Baby Lisa was kidnapped?

  9. chuck says:

    Sorry for the typos I am blind

  10. Dyce says:

    Like I said before you don’t know neither of these men personally, to give a true character judgement. I also said we went to lincoln prep, and this was when the school was considered to be the best school in the district. If you knew kyle personally you would know that he is a very well spoken person. What his music is about is personal preference of what he may feel will help get him exposure. All PR isnKt good PR, but if you people insist on putting his name in everything, even with the taunting and slander, at the end of the day you’re still making him famous.

  11. chuck says:

    @Dyce, your right, I don’t know neither of them.
    And I don’t think they will need any help from me becoming famous.


  12. chuck says:

    When appearance is more important than substance, and, in fact appearance is a fullfillment of aspiration, then you get this–

    “All PR isnKt good PR, but if you people insist on putting his name in everything, even with the taunting and slander, at the end of the day you’re still making him famous.”

    We will jsut have to agree to dissagree, that fame and infamy can be a subjective interpretation, and are interchangable in our minds.

    Me, I think the kid is a dumbass headed to prison, you think otherwise.


    Off to work…

  13. harley says:

    okay hearne…you’re gonna faint
    nice article..in fact you’re probably the only place in kc doing this…sometime you do a great job..
    if you add some real writers with some journlistic backgrounds this site would grow…to 400 peole (lol)
    nice job…
    now…you wouldnt let me post inside info i have about this site…you’re about to get rained on…no kidding..
    you need to really control the racist and vile comments…its about to come back and kick you in the rear..
    remember…harley told you first….

  14. tiad says:

    Harley, It Might Be A Semi-Nice Article…
    …except for this gem:

    ” Now here’s what I was able to track down from a Westporter working the streets there at the time:

    ‘I didn’t hear anything even though I was outside working about two blocks away,’ the source says.
    ‘And none of us there heard anything.’ ”

    A quote from a bona fide earwitness who heard nothing. Hearne managed to interview Sgt. Schultz from “Hogan’s Heroes.”

  15. Super Dave says:

    Hey chuck
    Man those bunnies been around as far back in the 50’s that I remember. Use to be a big thing back then a trip to the Plaza in the spring to see the Easter bunnies.

    Then I got older and and every chance you got you went to the Plaza to check out the hotties and if it was a good night got to party with some.

    Ahhhh the good ole days when life was fun and you didn’t need to carry a gun.

  16. scapegoat says:

    Nice article where is westport bill or crackhead craig or any of the other assclowns commenting on how all of this leads back to americas pub o thats right ap is gone and westport is all better now no more violence. Good start to another summer.

  17. sgt schultz says:

    i saw nothing. I heard nothing. I know nothing. I speak nothing.

  18. Gerald Bostock says:

    More reporting resources
    If you need to bolster this story, I can provide you with the names of several people who not only didn’t hear or see anything, but also weren’t even in town this weekend. Several of them will be happy to speculate on what they think happened or tell you what the food truck guy told their cousin at Easter services Sunday morning. This should free you up to find some anonymous sources that can place the blame on Tim Finn.

  19. the dude says:

    Can’t really comment on the incident
    this last Saturday, but good god that James kid looks like a serious prick from that mug shot.

    I bet he leads with the good old standby, “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?!?!” when he gets dissed at the club while he is sucker punching women in the face.

    He looks like he could use a serious ass beating.

  20. Hearne says:

    You’re a little slow today, TIAD…
    Have another cup of coffee while I explain why I ran the quote from the source. Primarily because he was there and spoke with security and police. And to demonstrate that even being that close, with everything going on, it was far enough away that many, if not most people, were unable to hear it.

    5 + 2 = 7

  21. balbonis moleskine says:

    Kyle James prob not invoved, looks like Mujppet Baby Animal
    Hearne has perhaps reached a new record for lousy sources. He has quoted 1) An anonymous source “working in the district” 2) who is paraphrasing another anonymous source (Westport security) 3) That “heard” (not saw) that Lil’ Sly was somehow involved. Literally that is 4th level hearsay!

    My guess is that the anony source is a westport business owner (Nigro) because he goes out of the way to say that it didn’t happen “In Westport”…. (news to this KC resident that the Westport Sun Fresh which is east of the Old Westport Plaza which houses such staples as the record bar isn’t actually in Westport).

  22. the dude says:

    posts a facespace picture with gang sign toting rapper that got shot approximately 1 hour later from said posted picture.

    I would lay my money that Master James was probably around when it got close to shootin’ time.

  23. Hearne says:

    Guess all you want, Balboni…
    I went to great lengths to get my Westport source on the record, but it was either pass along the inside skinny anonymously – just like the Star and most news organizations do – or put up a bunch of links and lay down a few smartass comments to stir up the comment’s section.

    Obviously the grocery store is in Westport (thanks for sharing) but not in the entertainment district per se, hence the quote, “not in Westport proper.”

    There are a lot of places people consider to be the Plaza that are not – as the head dude for the Plaza reminded me just last week – technically the Plaza.

    Trust me, everybody, including the police are dealing with sketchy details right now. That’s how stories unfold. Just like Don Harman’s suicide did. You have to follow up on them, as the police are – run down the rumors, connect the dots and hope like heck you get to the bottom of things.

    Feel free to skip over everything else, if all you want to read is the last act. With luck you can catch it in the year-in-review.

    We have some very interesting sources concerning Kyle James that we (and the police, although they’re far better at this) have heard about Kyle James. But here’s the deal, this has got to be a tough investigation for the cops because if what we are hearing is true, they are likely going to be ULTRA CAREFUL before they lay this one out for the public to pick through.

    Meanwhile you’re worried about the geographic boundaries of Westport?

    My advice: Google it!

  24. the dude says:

    some baloonhead that calls himself ‘the phantom’ said he and Master James were with the recently deceased rapper the WHOLE night on the pitch comments section. Sounds like he might actually be speaking veritas.

  25. Hearne says:

    I saw it, thanks dude….
    Worth checking out if you’re following this story. But oh my gosh, pretty embarrassing for Justin Kendall at the Pitch.

    Basically, like Tony much (if not most) of his Pitch news content is freshened up, re-spun stories based on the reporting of others. Keeps the site looking fresh but seldom adds anything new to the mix other than regurgitating the basic news in hip-speak.

    But as the last one to the Middle of the Map killing party, that was embarrassing – a watered rundown of what the Star and Fox 4 had reported (which wasn’t much to begin with), a screen shot of Kyle’s Facebook page from Tony and then a graph to say, call the TIPS line?

    Since the Pitch had “reviewed” the the Phantom and Kyle’s album, all Kendall had to do was pick up the phone and call or text Phantom and he could have done some real reporting instead of penning a mini rehash.

    That I don’t get.

    The only thing the Pitch brought to this gunfight, after the fact, was it drew out the Phantom to tell Kyle’s side of the story and then chastise Kendall and the Pitch for not contacting…to get a better photo. But only in the comments section.


  26. the dude says:

    Yeah, well
    when Kendall has a big, important and informative article to write about the fact that hipsters might or might not be invading KC as we speak, well, you know. If it wasn’t for Feruzza that rag would be a total waste of reading time unless you need to find out about phone sex numbers.

  27. Hearne says:

    Did somebody say, phone sex?
    Seriously though, I think it’s interesting that the mayor – who said he didn’t want to interfere in his sons two dust ups last year – is suddenly the one defending him and The Star is coasting by on weak-as-a-kitten headlines like mayor’s son a friend of the victim.

    With “hard news” Star reporter Tony Rizzo not even bothering to ask hizzonor where is son is, why he’s not retuning calls or why the mayor’s done an about face and is now speaking out on behalf of his son.

    Instead of letting his son defend himself, as Sly’s said in the past.

  28. the dude says:

    I wonder
    how Mr. James will spin his way out of this one? Softballs from the press?

  29. Times change, get stranger says:

    Another funny side effect of being in Kansas City
    Is seeing the few rich black kids in town all want to be rappers! Daddy can pay for q-base and pro-tools, I like weed and can go “yeah…..yeah….” over a 4/4. It would be adorable if they weren’t all so serious about the certainty of their rap world success.

    You would think they would try to parlay their money into admission into a university. Even a brain dead scion can get into Arizona.

  30. Wendy says:

    The one thing I know about Kyle James
    is that he is not a man of his word. He is too busy stroking his own ego to worry about how his actions effect others. I will never do business with him again and told him so.

  31. paulwilsonkc says:

    Hearne, I didnt hear a real defense of his son…..
    … what I heard was a weak recounting of the events by hizzonor.
    Said Rapper (DJ so-in-so) noticed his fiancee (baby momma) being fronted by some young scholars. When DJ so-in-so approached the debate and exchange of ideas, someone in a car stuck a gun out the window and solved the problem.
    Thats what I heard in his interview and really no mention of his son. He went on to ramble about senseless violence and how it must stop.
    But “Times change, get stranger” makes an interesting point. Its almost like there’s a genetic issue in all of this. Money, no money, hood or Pembroke, you still gotta do da beats! I dont get it. How will lead our fine young scholars out of the mean streets and into the land of milk and honey? Or at least a middle class job?

  32. the dude says:

    fear not wilson,
    rap and hippity-hop will save the day- or completey destroy it, can’t remember how tha saying goes.

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