Officer Matt Tomasic of the Central Patrol Division of the Kansas City Police Department was finishing his shift on the Kansas City West Side when he witnessed a man assaulting a woman. “Police Department,” he shouted. “Take your hands off her and back away.” Matt held up his badge. “Do it now!” The man took his hands off the woman, but he didn’t back away. “Back away. Now!” Matt shouted. The man turned and started heading toward Matt.

Just then, two cars coming up the road screeched to a halt. The doors flew open and a number of local men bolted from the vehicles. They made a beeline for the man and surrounded him. Their motivation? They wanted to protect Officer Tomasic.

The story of why these men and others in the community ...

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