Lexington Black faith leaders hold news conference on protester charges
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It’s been two years since Black Lives Matter protestors marched through downtown Lexington calling for change.
More than a dozen protestors were arrested and charged.
Black Faith leaders in Lexington are calling on Fayette County Attorney Larry Roberts to drop those charges. Roberts told WKYT that most of the protesters charged either pled guilty or asked for diversion.
Black Faith Leaders of Lexington and Vicinity say that the progress towards racial justice and equality would not have been possible without the help of Black Lives Matter protesters. That’s why they’re calling on Roberts to drop the charges against them.
During a press conference, the leaders acknowledge the city’s changes in the past two years. They noted the permanent ban on no-knock warrants, body camera requirement for all police officers, and two civilians being added to the police disciplinary board.
However, the faith leaders say those efforts would not have been possible without those who protested in the summer of 2020.
They explained that the protests were non-violent and no property was damaged. They criticized Roberts for charging about 20 protesters, including Sarah Williams and April Taylor.
Some of those charges include inciting a riot. But the faith leaders say in 2020 there were no riots.
“Bringing these charges gives the appearance of using the judicial system as an instrument to punish people for exposing police inequities and inequalities,” said Rev. Keith Taylor, Black Faith Leaders of Lexington & Vicinity.
The faith leaders noted that Roberts, a Democrat, is up for re-election.
Roberts says he will not drop charges against protesters and defended the way he handled cases while in office.
“If people think that I’m unfair across the board in what I do, then they should vote me out,” Roberts said. “But, anybody who looks at my record will see that I don’t treat anybody differently.”
Roberts faces opposition from another Democrat, Angela Evens, who’s also running for Fayette County Attorney. Evans served on the Urban County Council before resigning to further her education in 2020.
Copyright 2022 WKYT. All rights reserved.