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Lexington Town Hall Envisions 'Breonna's Law' At Local, State Levels

AP Photo/Darron Cummings

Participants in a Monday night virtual town hall outlined how they hope to pass police accountability reforms in Lexington and across the commonwealth.

Policymakers and activists behind the push to ban no-knock warrants took questions about the competing policing reform bills in Frankfort and what it might take for Lexington to follow Louisville's lead. The state's largest city enacted a no-knock ban and expanded the use of body cameras within months of the death of Breonna Taylor at the hands of police.

Lexington councilman James Brown said Louisville was primed for action at the time.

"The people were speaking and the political will was there, but I think it was because they were already doing the work," the 1st District council member said. "I think the relationships are a big part of it — the relationships between the activists, the faith community, the community and the policymakers."

Brown highlighted Mayor Linda Gorton's moratorium on the controversial warrants and the work of the Mayor's Commission for Racial Justice and Equality, but he said Lexington would benefit from more Black representation. He added he'd like to see state-level reforms that could set a baseline for communities as they look to customize their own policies.    

A speaker on the Facebook Live event said Lexington police were invited but did not participate.

The proposed statewide "Breonna's Law" bill, which is co-sponsored by Lexington Democratic Reps. Kelly Flood and Susan Westrom, could receive a hearing in committee by Thursday or Friday, according to lead sponsor Rep. Attica Scott. Senate Bill 4, which includes similar provisions while excluding drug and alcohol testing for officers involved in fatal police shootings, has already cleared the upper chamber in the General Assembly.

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.
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