The Kansas City Police Department drew backlash online Tuesday when it advertised a unity march with city officials, pastors, churches and community leaders.

The march, organized in conjunction with The Justice Center, is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the front lawn of the Nelson Atkins Museum.

According to a flier posted on Twitter Tuesday, the march will proceed to Mill Creek Park, near the Country Club Plaza, where daily protests starting Friday have drawn thousands of people to demonstrate against police brutality. They are among protests that have swept the nation in the wake of the killing of a George Floyd, a black man, during his arrest by a white police officer in Minneapolis on May 25.

In Kansas City, the protests have ended with police using tear gas against demonstrators and arresting at least 170 people.

The march Wednesday, billed as an event “for human rights and peace in our streets,” is scheduled to include the Kansas City mayor’s office, City Council, the Kansas City Fire Department, as well as the police department.

Minutes after the police department posted the announcement on Twitter, many on social media answered back sharply.

Some called for police to leave their guns and weapons behind.

One person tweeted that the message would be taken as “propaganda” until police remove riot gear and stop using tear gas.

Another person asked why people should support the event when the police haven’t supported the protest.


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