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Lexington Black Faith Leaders Press For Total Ban On No-Knock Warrants

Louisville Metro Police Department via AP

Black faith leaders in Lexington are renewing calls for action on a number of issues, from banning no-knock warrants to choosing a new superintendent.

No-knock warrants have been banned in Louisville, curtailed at the state level, and placed under a moratorium with exceptions in Lexington, all in response to the 2020 death of Breonna Taylor. But Black faith leaders are calling on Lexington to permanently do away with the warrants — no exceptions.

"Whenever there's an exception, there's always room for some type of subjectivity. And the subjectivity always has a way of not working in the favor of people of color," said Rev. Clark Williams with Shiloh Baptist Church.

The leaders are crafting language for a proposed ordinance and want to see action in the coming weeks.

"We will be looking for some significant progress. We want to see the light at the end of the tunnel at the very least within the next 30 days, if legislation hasn't been passed," Williams said.

Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers, who is also Black, has been hesitant to endorse an across-the-board ban, telling the city council last year that he worries about a situation where police couldn't act to save someone's life without the warrant. He told city leaders then that the department had only used no-knock warrants about four times in the previous five years.

But the faith leaders say they've been patient and it's time for a stronger statement on the warrants. They also want to see charges against racial justice protesters dropped, civilian involvement in police discipline, and the hiring of a superintendent with proven ability producing "equitable results" in a diverse district.

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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