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.