Black faith leaders call on Mayor Gorton to ban all no-knock warrants in Lexington

Black faith leaders call on Mayor Gorton to ban all no-knock warrants in Lexington
Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 11:39 AM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lexington’s Black faith leaders are calling for change once again.

They say although progress has been made, there is still a lot of work to be done.

They’re calling on Mayor Linda Gorton to ban all no-knock warrants.

Last week, Governor Andy Beshear signed a partial ban into law. However, cities must decide to ban them entirely on their own.

Gorton has placed a moratorium on no-knock warrants, and Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers says the department rarely uses them.

Black faith leaders say that’s not enough.

“We’re calling for an absolute ban with no exception. The reason we’re calling for that is, not because we’re saying there could never be a situation where one could be useful, we’re just saying that the losses, that the losses that are potentially there outweigh the potential benefit,” said Rev. Clark Williams, Shiloh Baptist Church.

The leaders are also demanding that charges be dropped against protesters who participated in the city’s Black Lives Matter marches last summer.

They’re also calling for collaboration with school board leaders in selecting a new superintendent for Fayette County Public Schools.

Black faith leaders say they have had several conversations with the mayor and police chief. They say those conversations have been productive but they’re still waiting on action.

Police say the department has served four no-knock warrants since 2016. Black faith leaders are giving Mayor Gorton 30 days to implement an ordinance banning no-knock warrants before taking further action.

We have reached out to the mayor’s office for comment. Mayor Gorton released this statement:

Councilmember James Brown will be bringing this issue before a Council committee in the next few weeks. I think it is important to give Council an opportunity to consider this. My moratorium on no-knock warrants still stands.

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