Lexington community calls for change after recent violence

Lexington community calls for change after recent violence
Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 11:00 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - We saw passionate pleas Thursday night on the heels of another deadly shooting in Lexington. Community members are urging the Urban County Council to address gun violence and public safety concerns the city has faced.

This comes after the city reported the 100th non-deadly shooting in the city this year earlier this week, and on Thursday marked the 36th homicide of the year.

One speaker said the public safety crisis in Lexington is “of incredible proportion.”

Former Vice Mayor Mike Scanlon was one of a handful of people who addressed council about the rise in violence, and also the concerns with shortages in the E-911 center and the wait times for a call getting answered. We told you last week about records we obtained that show in 2022, more than 1,000 calls to 911 have ring times longer than two minutes.

One speaker told city leaders over the last four years the safety in Lexington has become what she calls a catastrophe.

As Scanlon addressed council, he challenged them to take charge, and also meet regularly with Chief Lawrence Weathers, because as he put it, what’s been done now, is not working.

“With all the good intentions, and a great person, the mayor has not come up with a plan for public safety yet that’s working. And we don’t have a lot of hope in the election because her opposition is not coming up with a much better plan,” Scanlon said.

A mother also addressed council. She voiced her support to the police department and said she was moved by hearing Chief Weathers last week as he talked about the violence.

Another speaker called for more support to the department, and called for the city to reinstate no-knock warrants.

Lexington is just one homicide away from yet again breaking a yearly record in the city. At this point last year, the city was at 27 homicides.