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Protester's attorney to Lexington Police: 'Apologize to her'

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Posted at 7:00 PM, Jul 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-13 19:16:56-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Moments after she was acquitted on three of four charges stemming from the racial justice protests in 2020, an activist in Lexington, said she felt vindicated.

"It's been a long two years," Sarah Williams said. "It's vindication in a lot of ways. My name's been through the mud."

Williams was found not guilty of inciting a riot, resisting arrest, and possession of marijuana. The jury did find Williams guilty of disorderly conduct and ordered her to pay a $250 fine.

Speaking outside of the courtroom Wednesday, Williams said the sole guilty charge did not come as a surprise.

"We live in a society where anger from Black women is automatically termed 'unacceptable,'" Williams said. "So that doesn't surprise me."

Originally charged with five misdemeanor counts, the charge of possession of drug paraphernalia had been dropped.

Williams and her defense attorney, Daniel Whitley, said that the charge was dubious from the outset.

"For over two years they smeared her name," Whitley told jurors in his closing argument.

Whitley was referring to a detail in Williams' 2020 arrest citation, which alleged she had a "crack pipe."

The arresting officer testified Tuesday that he amended his report a year later to reflect the fact that he misidentified the item. He said in actuality, it was more akin to a "broken vape cartridge."

Whitley said Chief Lawrence Weathers and the Lexington Police Department should apologize to his client.

"They're the ones who put that in the police department two years ago," Whitley said. "That discredited her movement. That discredited her name. And then we came to trial and we were adamant that she never had a crack pipe."

When asked about Whitley's demand for an apology, a Lexington Police spokesperson replied: "No comment."