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LFUCG considering changes; City Council members to discuss no-knock warrants, disciplinary procedure

Posted at 2:13 PM, Jun 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-15 19:09:22-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — That every member of a city council could say they are united in their belief – any belief – might be the most significant change we see from what’s transpired in this country over the last month.

Joined together inside the city government building, Vice Mayor Steve Kay told us of the meeting that will take place Tuesday during which council members will discuss plans, “To fashion concrete next steps.”

The council members have heard their constituents loud and clear during protests, which have gone on in Lexington for 16 consecutive nights. Now they want to take what they’ve heard, and put it to action, starting with the possible elimination of no-knock warrants.

“We need to consider how people can be potentially unjustly impacted by that tool that they have in their toolbox. So I think that’s definitely something we need to talk about and consider,” said District 1 Councilman James Brown.

Many believe a no-knock warrant in Louisville led to the shooting death of Breonna Taylor in her home.

Police were reportedly looking for her ex-boyfriend at the time they executed that warrant. The city has since adopted legislation banning the use of the no-knock warrant. And in Washington, D.C, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky) has introduced federal legislation that would do the same while calling it “Breonna’s Law.”

In Lexington, police say they only use no-knock warrant in rare circumstances and have not done so in the last 12 months. The process the department has to go through to obtain a no-knock is quite rigorous. Still, it’s enough of a hot button topic for council members to discuss its merits during their next meeting.

Also on the agenda, as it relates to police reform, is the process the department uses for post-incident reporting and discipline.

“The police department’s disciplinary process is the most private that I’ve seen, and I’ve prosecuted several licensed professionals,” said District 6 Councilwoman Angela Evans – a former attorney. “Teachers have a disciplinary process as well, and there is more scrutiny for teachers than the police,” she continued.

You could argue, there’s never been more scrutiny on our civic leaders who are going to have the lead the charge towards making impactful changes. The people have spoken and may not stop talking until it happens.