LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office has hired the son of Lexington mother and activist Anita Franklin to serve in the role of Community Outreach Coordinator.
In 2014, when Anita Franklin lost her son Antonio to gun violence, she channeled her pain into activism, becoming a well-known and beloved figure in Lexington.
Franklin passed away in February, but her legacy lives on through her son Ricardo.
“It’s an honor. It comes with a lot of weight and pressure, but I think it’s something I can live up to,” said Ricardo Franklin.
Franklin began his first day of work on Oct. 26th. He said he comes into the role with the same vision his mother had for Lexington.
“A safe Lexington. There are too many instances where we are seeing gun violence in our city, and we need to stop that,” he said.
Franklin said he holds his mother’s teachings closely as he begins the new chapter in his life.
“I’ve preached togetherness and unity for so long. That’s something she was really big on is togetherness, unity, and showing love for thy neighbor no matter skin color, race, ethnicity, whatever it may be,” Franklin said. “I often think about how there’s a lot of hate in this world, but there’s also a lot of love. You have to really see that through and I feel like if there is any ounce of love in this world, you can overcome anything.”
And though Anita Franklin is no longer physically here, her story continues through Ricardo.