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Mayor Gorton urges calm about Breonna Taylor decision; downtown city offices, businesses close early

Published: Sep. 23, 2020 at 12:25 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton issued a statement in advance of the announcement in the Breonna Taylor case:

“I am urging everyone to remain calm as events unfold in Louisville. Protests need to remain peaceful. As always, our police are prepared to protect this community. You can help our community by avoiding downtown today. Out of an overabundance of caution, we are sending non-emergency City employees who work downtown home this afternoon. Many city employees will be able to continue working from their homes. Most city offices downtown will close at 1 p.m. today.”

Other downtown businesses also closed early for the day, some boarded up their windows.

Wednesday afternoon, Tony’s hired a construction company to board up its windows. An employee told us the restaurant is not closing but they are being cautious just in case there are riots. Not too far from Tony’s, AppHarvest also took the same steps, using the same construction company to board up its windows.

These businesses are near Triangle Park, which is a few blocks from Courthouse Square where protestors are supposed to be getting together Wednesday evening around 7.

We talked with April Taylor a member of the group called LPD Accountability. She shared her reaction to businesses boarding up.

“There’s not been any damage to businesses," said Taylor. "So, it feels like that’s more of them playing into a stereotype than them acting on anything that’s based in reality.”

The group is calling for changes to the Lexington Police Department. The only officer charged in the Breonna Taylor case, Brett Hankison, actually worked for Lexington police for a few years before he moved to Louisville’s department.

The YMCA also announced that “out of an overabundance of caution” the Downtown Frankfort location would close immediately and the High Street location in Lexington would close at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Both will have normal hours Thursday.

Other businesses are playing it by ear, at least two managers told us they would not board up their windows saying that the trust protestors to be peaceful.

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