On Wednesday, the editorial board of The Kansas City Star blasted the decision by a judge that the arrest of Kansas Senate Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop for driving under the influence and fleeing the police lacked "probable cause" — and suggested that it could be "preferential treatment."
"The SUV had been traveling eastbound in the westbound lane for at least 10 minutes, according to police dispatch audio, and even when cops tried to cut it off, it still didn't stop," wrote the board. "So was a judge right to decide there was no probable cause for Suellentrop's arrest, because there was some 'pertinent information' missing from the police report? Following the rules matters, so it's possible. And we may not know for some time, since the Kansas Highway Patrol is not releasing even that portion of the report that the public is entitled to see."
"But here's what we do know: The public is well and truly tired of seeing the powerful get special treatment," wrote the board. "Ridiculously preferential treatment is written right into the Kansas Constitution, which says that lawmakers can't be arrested during the legislative session 'except for treason, felony or breach of the peace.' If you know of any Black person in the land who has driven in the wrong direction for 10 minutes and walked away, we'd love to hear about it. Or if you know of any average Kansan who has managed that, tell us about it."
Although the judge ordered Suellentrop's release, the case is ongoing, reported KSNT: "According to Kansas Highway Patrol spokesperson Lt. Candice Breshears a blood sample was taken from Suellentrop and that sample was submitted to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation Forensic Science Center for analysis."