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Lexington faith leaders call for permanent end to no-knock warrants

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Posted at 5:05 PM, Apr 15, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — It's been 10 months since Black Faith Leaders of Lexington and Vicinity marched down Main Street to City Hall to hand-deliver a letter asking Mayor Linda Gorton to permanently ban no-knock warrants. Now, they're renewing those calls.

"We have been more than patient. Citizens pleading for change have been more than patient. Today we call on Mayor Gorton, and the city council to do what should have been done a long time ago," said Rev. C.B. Akins, Pastor Emeritus of First Baptist Church Bracktown.

They say Kentucky's partial ban on no-knock warrants and Lexington's temporary moratorium don't go far enough because there are exceptions.

"We're calling for an absolute ban, with no exception. The reason we're calling for that is not because we're saying there could never be a situation where one could be useful. We're just saying that the losses that are potentially there outweigh the potential benefit," said Rev. L. Clark Williams of Shiloh Baptist Church.

Their timeline is 30 days. They're meeting with Mayor Gorton on Friday and say that meeting will determine their next steps.

They are drafting an ordinance to present to the city and county.

They're also joining calls for Fayette County Attorney Larry Roberts to drop all charges against those protesters arrested last summer. There are about 20 community members charged from inciting a riot to jaywalking.

Another demand on their list is an end to police disciplinary disparity and lack of transparency.

Also included is a renewed petition that the next superintendent of Fayette County Public Schools must come into the position possessing a proven track record of success, generating equitable results as leader of a diverse urban school district.

The group says they've had several conversations with Lexington police and the mayor's office. However, they have not heard back from Attorney Larry Roberts.