Family of teen hit by Lexington police cruiser pleads to city council for answers

Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 10:42 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A Lexington teen’s family is begging for answers after he was hit by a Lexington police cruiser on Garden Springs Drive.

“We don’t want to place blame on anybody,” the teen’s sister Elizabeth Long said while addressing city council Thursday night. “We just want to figure out what happened.”

19-year-old Liam Long’s family said he is autistic and was suffering a mental health crisis when police were called Tuesday.

“While he needed care, he was responded to with force,” Liam’s mother Kendra Long said.

Police did not release the teen’s name. But, in a press release, said he made threats to officers while holding a knife and then ran. Police said while chasing Long, he ran into the road and was hit by an officer arriving at the scene. Officers reported immediately calling for an ambulance that took Long to the hospital with “non-life-threatening injuries.”

But, his family is frustrated with what they call inconsistent stories.

“Numerous concerned citizens who witnessed it have shared their accounts with us contradicting the limited information released by police,” Kendra Long said.

“It was reported that he didn’t suffer serious injuries, but when we found him, he was ventilated on site and moved to the hospital and has a brain bleed,” Liam’s sister Polly Long said.

Lexington police denied WKYT’s open records request for body camera video of the crash saying the investigation is ongoing.

But, Chief Lawrence Weathers said in Thursday night’s council meeting that video will be released soon.

“I feel pretty confident by tomorrow or at least by mid next week, we will be at that point,” Chief Weathers said.

Hopefully, it will be a response to the family’s appeal for answers.

“Anything that we can gather to try to piece together what happened that night and what happened to Liam so that he doesn’t become a statistic,” Elizabeth Long said.

Chief Weathers also said Kentucky State Police will be reviewing the investigation.

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