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'Thank You': Some Lexington Police Take A Knee, Get Hugs In Return

Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton met with demonstrators ahead of the rally, and by the end of the night some city police engaged in act of solidarity with the protesters.

"You're mad, and I'm mad," Gorton told demonstrators on Sunday, addressing a crowd that would swell to hundreds by that evening as tensions continued to flare in the aftermath of high profile police-involved deaths in Louisville and Minneapolis.

Scores of people gathered on the city's courthouse lawn and then fanned into the streets, again avoiding the kind of violence witnessed in cities across the U.S.

"Say his name! George Floyd!" the crowd repeated, referencing the 46-year-old whose death helped sparked the wave of demonstrations, as they made their way down West Vine Street.

Demonstrators circled downtown and, toward the end of the night, met with a line of officers at the entrance to the police headquarters. At the urging of the protesters, some officers knelt on one knee and were thanked and embraced by protesters on the front lines.

"Thank you!" the crowd chanted as they applauded and cheered.

It was an image that set the city apart, as more volatile protests continued down the road in Louisville where 40 demonstrators were arrested.

"Yes, we want to speak truth to them. Yes, we want to shift their mindset. Yes, we want to let them know why we're here. But that doesn't require violence to do so," organizer Sarah Williams told WUKY.

Sunday marked the third straight night of protests in Lexington.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.