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Former Lexington police chief recognizes change sparked by protests

Published: Jun. 15, 2020 at 10:20 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Racial injustice and police brutality are issues that reach further back than former Lexington Police Chief Anthany Beatty’s 30-plus years in law enforcement.

“I certainly experienced and saw firsthand some of the kinds of actions we see today,” Beatty said. “I was always quick to point that out to officers and have a talk about what was right and how you should treat people, so to think that we were doing that thirty years ago and it’s evolved to what we’re seeing today is somewhat disheartening.”

So much so that protests in downtown Lexington are continuing for the third week calling for changes in some police department policies among other things. They are topics expected to be up for discussion at two meetings scheduled by the Urban County Council on Tuesday.

“The protests have brought people to the table,” Beatty said.

It’s the diversity of those people and the willingness Beatty sees in community and law enforcement leaders to listen that he hopes will carry the momentum of change that started with the protests.

“I think what we’re seeing today is a different kind of movement," Beatty said. "I think that movement will certainly lend itself to an ongoing dialogue about how we can change the community for good, so that we don’t do these patches that we’ve done in the past where law enforcement takes some kind of action to patch the problem and then it reoccurs in another fashion.”

We also asked Beatty about his reaction to Mayor Linda Gorton’s announcement Monday placing a moratorium on no-knock warrants in Lexington. He said since that policy is one that is used so rarely, he appreciates making that easy change quickly while discussions start on even bigger changes.

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