Black faith leaders push back against no-knock warrants opposition

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Posted at 4:53 PM, Jun 10, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — After increased opposition to the proposed ban on no-knock warrants, the Black Faith Leaders of Lexington and Vicinity are calling on council members who support them to stay the course.

It's been more than a year of protests, demonstrations, and calls to action and the Black Faith Leaders of Lexington and Vicinity (BFLLV) are still holding press conferences to try to push for this change.

The Urban County Council voted 9-6 in favor of bringing the discussion of banning no-knock warrants to a vote on Tuesday.

But the division remains on whether it's the right move and opposition appears to be growing as the final vote gets closer.
The Fraternal Order of Police Bluegrass took to Facebook to call out the councilmembers who voted yes saying they were pandering to "radically anti-police protesters."

"Sadly, there is a concerted effort underway by the Fraternal Order of Police, as we speak, to paint council members who voted for this police reform our group and others as supporting both criminals and the endangerment of our fellow citizens and police officers," said BFLLV spokesperson Rev. L. Clark Williams.

Mayor Linda Gorton and Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers have also been open with their opposition. They want to keep the option on the table for officers and the safety of the community.

But the BFLLV are not letting their foot off the gas, pushing back on their claims.

"You might say to yourself that that would never happen to you. But with the way we are overly policed right here in Lexington, we as black people simply do not have that luxury," said Williams.

They are calling on the nine council members who have already shown support to keep going.

"If they stay the course, nine votes is enough to override the Mayor's veto and that's what our plan of action is. Now that is what our confidence, at least our hope, is in," said Williams.

Thursday night, the ordinance will have its first official reading as written, without the 15-second waiting period advocates had hoped for.

A vote is not expected to happen until June 24. If the ordinance passes, it will go into effect on July 1.