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Tensions run high at Lexington march after chief of police is blocked by protesters

Posted at 12:55 PM, Jun 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-13 21:59:13-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A march from the Lexington Police Department to Southland Christian Church was interrupted by a wave of protestors Saturday morning when demonstrators blocked Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers from walking to the church for a conversation centered around race and reconciliation.

The John Rowe Chapter of the National Bar Association hosted the conversation at the church.

During part of the march, Weathers walked alongside Sheriff Kathy Witt before tensions forced Weathers to end his march and drive to the church.

“The protesters were aggressively trying to block me at every turn,” Weathers told LEX 18. Lexington Police said it was investigating the incident.

“All we were asking him is why have you been silent chief to the community who has had these demands in your hands for the past year and four months. Why have you been silent but you want to speak today,” said Sarah Williams, who was part of the human chain that blocked Weathers’ path.

The march began at 8 a.m. As it was beginning, a separate group of protesters showed up to demand action and accountability from city officials and police.

As the two groups marched together, tensions and emotions ran high and both sides started yelling at each other on several occasions.

“What’s happening is you’re having some people who are just now coming to the table to fight systemic racism, but then you also have another group of people who have been fighting this for years, even decades. So the people who are just now coming to the table don’t truly understand and aren’t educated fully on the grand scope, which makes some of the older guards a little frustrated,” said Devine Carama, a community activist who sat on the panel. “I think you’re seeing a little tug and pull between the two factions.”

At the public forum, some protesters walked to the front of the stage and at times interrupted the speakers.