Ordinance to ban no-knock warrants in Lexington moves forward

Posted at 6:08 PM, Jun 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-09 01:49:39-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — On Tuesday, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government voted 9-6 in favor of discussing banning no-knock warrants during their June 24 meeting.

This comes less than a week after Breonna Taylor's birthday and 369 days since faith leaders of Lexington marched to City Hall with a list of demands concerning police reform. One of those included the ban of no-knock warrants. Taylor was killed when Louisville Metro Police issued a no-knock warrant.

"I'm feeling relief, I'm feeling joy about this moment," Rev. Anthony Everett said. "I think there is so much more that we have to do though in terms of focusing on public safety and really addressing the issues that are affecting the black community."

However, no-knock warrants are a tactic that Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers feels is a vital tool that he doesn't want taken away from his officers. The city has been willing to consider a ban, but with exceptions such as waiving a 30-second waiting period to enter once informing a suspect of their presence.

Chief Weathers noted during the meeting that no-knock warrants have been used in Lexington just four times since 2016.

"I'm not advocating no-knock search warrants for the safety of police. I'm advocating for the safety of our community," he said.

Council members in support of the ban said they believe the move would help to build trust between officers and the community.

"The no-knock represents to many people in the black community a threat," Vice Mayor Steve Kay said. "A continuation of the way in which they have been at the wrong end of police enforcement."