NAACP alleges Lexington Police retaliated against protesters
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The local chapter of the NAACP is asking leaders to “remedy police wrongdoing.”
In a letter sent to the mayor, vice mayor, city council, and the president of the Fraternal Order of Police, the chapter outlines several different concerns.
The letter addresses what the NAACP calls “wrongdoings and police abuse of protesters.” Many of the concerns stem from five arrests that happened in downtown Lexington.
Those arrests were caught on police body camera video released by Lexington police the next day.
NAACP members say the video shows that officers are “unprofessionally and illegally retaliating against leaders of the protests.”
“The protesters are practicing their first amendment right, they may not appear to be as peaceful but they are not violent and that they have been arrested and we’ve seen videos of that and it should be a concern to everyone,” said Shambra Mulder with the NAACP.
However, Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers says his department is concerned with everyone’s safety, including the protesters.
He said protesters are made aware of what is illegal behavior and are only addressed if they commit a violation.
It’s the same body camera footage that the NAACP chapter claims police are “weaponizing to misrepresent facts.”
The two main demands outlined in the letter were to take down that footage and to address the collective bargaining agreement, looking at how police officers are disciplined and how the community can be involved in that process.
But it remains to be seen.. if those will be met.
“We’re not really interested in meeting and talking anymore in anything that’s symbolism, we really want to see some real action out of the mayor and police about some of the demands that have been very clear,” Mulder said.
An NAACP representative told us they did not send the letter directly to Chief Weathers, because they expect any response or action to be taken by the mayors office and the FOP.
When we asked Chief Weathers if any changes or action would be taken in response to the letter. He said the mayor has established a commission to address concerns and he believes that is the best forum for solutions to be sought.
Copyright 2020 WKYT. All rights reserved.