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Racial Justice Commission law enforcement subcommittee covers use of discretion

The Racial Justice Commission law enforcement subcommittee met Monday evening to discuss the use of discretion.
The Racial Justice Commission law enforcement subcommittee met Monday evening to discuss the use of discretion.(WKYT)
Published: Aug. 3, 2020 at 7:20 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - In the latest meeting of the law enforcement subcommittee for the mayor’s Commission for Racial Justice and Equality, a presentation made by a public defender brought the use of discretion to the top of mind.

In a Powerpoint, he outlined the data on cases his office covers.

He showed the percentage of black versus other races who are charged with certain misdemeanors and felonies-- numbers that indicated black citizens his office represented have been more likely to face harsher charges.

A decision that falls on the discretion of several people throughout the justice system.

“When we look at systematic, systemic, structured, it’s embedded in the structure that it’s killing black people, discretion,” subcommittee member Brannon Dunn said. “So if you have discretion to run a tag or discretion to pull somebody over discretion not to charge, the discretion is always to charge black people.”

The subcommittee did not discuss specific recommendations they will make to the mayor just yet, but they did say the possibility of a citizens review board will be talked about in their next meeting.

The town hall meeting that gives the public the chance to ask questions or make comments to this subcommittee will be Tuesday at 6:30.

Copyright 2020 WKYT. All rights reserved.

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