‘There’s a lot of unanswered questions:’ Nicholasville community seeks answers, rallies for Desman LaDuke

WATCH | Rally for Desman Leduke
Published: Nov. 12, 2022 at 9:43 PM EST
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NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (WKYT) - Three weeks after an officer-involved shooting in Jessamine County, the community came together to demonstrate in honor of Desman LaDuke, who lost his life in the incident.

Saturday’s rally provided the Nicholasville community with a space not just to celebrate Desman LaDuke’s life, but also to question what led that life to be taken so soon.

“The sacrifice you make here today will not be in vain,” said Terry Dumphord, who serves as president of the Bourbon County NAACP.

Kentucky State Police is still investigating the officer-involved shooting. But activist Sarah Williams of LPD Accountability has joined friends and family of LaDuke to do some digging of their own.

“There’s a lot of unanswered questions and the Nicholasville Police Department has not been forthcoming,” said Williams, who also organized Saturday’s rally. “Maybe they thought it would be swept under the rug, that we weren’t coming, but there’s going to be some accountability.”

Their efforts started Saturday when they marched through Nicholasville, past the place LaDuke called home and onto the steps of the Jessamine County Courthouse.

Williams says displays like this are done to show Nicholasville Police they are watching them and waiting for those answers to come.

“We have some demands,” Williams said. “We want the Department of Justice to come investigate them. Like if this occurred, there are obvious problems in the way this department operates and functions.”

Williams says their other demands include releasing the body cam footage from the October 22nd incident. They’re also calling for change in the way the department approaches these sorts of situations, so that no one else has to lose their life like LaDuke.

“We need a team of people who are truly trained and educated to intervene on these things appropriately without resorting to violence,” said Williams.

Nicholasville Police said they could not comment on the day’s events and deferred to Kentucky State Police as the investigation continues.