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Protesters say someone pointed a gun at them, police are investigating

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Posted at 5:53 PM, Jul 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-04 21:58:10-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Demonstrators have been taking to the streets in Lexington for five weeks straight to protest police brutality.

But Saturday's march was different.

Garland Watkins says a man in a car pointed a rifle at protesters while they were marching down Main Street.

"I said, 'Sir can you turn off? We're just trying to protest. I don't want you to hit them.' This is his gun. He brings it to the side of him and brings the gun up and points it at me. I'm you. Says he has the right to protest too," said Watkins.

Police confirmed the man was charged with menacing, a misdemeanor charge, but not arrested.

Police say the rifle was confiscated and booked as evidence.

"I spent 8 years in the military. Never ever once had a gun pointed at my face, especially a machine gun pointed at my head," said Watkins.

Protesters took to the streets today for a march for freedom, demanding an end to systemic racism and police brutality.

"It's a shame that we have to go through this. We're just a peaceful march marching down Main Street and we encounter him," said Watkins.

Watkins says he's still shaken by what happened, but above all, he's upset police didn't arrest the man with the gun.

"I also want to add if this incident had been reversed, the Black man in the truck and the White man outside. The Black man pointing the gun at the White man, the Black man would have been snatched from the car and immediately thrown to the ground," said Watkins.

LEX 18 News reached out to LPD to ask why the man was cited and not arrested.

A spokesperson with the department responded via text, saying, "The citation and charge are based on the information we had available. we know the suspect had the gun. But it is unclear whether or not he actually pointed it at someone."