NewsCovering Kentucky


Demonstrators hold protest at Fayette Mall

Posted at 3:10 PM, Jun 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-21 22:15:39-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Demonstrators protested at the Fayette Mall Sunday afternoon.

Protesters are demanding that Lexington Police Department Chaplain, Donovan Stewart, be fired after he allegedly punched a 16-year-old with autism at the Fayette Mall in February of 2019.

In honor of the 16 year-old, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, the protesters laid on the floor of Fayette Mall in silence.

"I think it was received a lot better than what I thought and we all anticipated which is also a really good thing for us," said protester Emma Rangel. "We were able to speak and talk to those people without interference or making us look like we are doing anything other than a peaceful protest."

There is a lawsuit on the case pending in federal court. The suit claims that Stewart "flew into a rage" and assaulted the teen, identified only as A.B.T. in the documents. Lack of proper training, the suit alleges, violates the federally protected civil rights of persons with autism.

"Bystanders took videos of the encounter between Defendant Stewart and A.B.T. The video shows Defendant Stewart closed fist punching A.B.T in the face/head. Even with A.B.T restrained on the floor and not posing any threats to Defendant Stewart or anyone else, Defendant Stewart continued to punch A.B.T until a bystander removed Defendant Stewart's hand from A.B.T.," the suit reads.

The lawsuit also states that Stewart attacked the bystander.

"We plan on being back as many times as it takes to put pressure on this system for Donavon Stewart to be held accountable," said protest organizer April Taylor. "The cops downtown have kind of been running from us not wanting to hear our message and so we decided to go bring our message to the people to bring awareness."

Taylor says the group will continue protesting downtown at night.