Governor Beshear calls for peaceful protests and social distancing


FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear called for peaceful protests across the state in the wake of demonstrations in Lexington, Louisville and other communities that began late last week.

The governor released a video statement Sunday afternoon on his Facebook page and on YouTube.  To see the video statement, click here.

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He says he understands people across Kentucky want racial justice and want their voice to be heard, but echoed the plea from Breonna Taylor’s family in Louisville, calling for truth and justice, but no violence.

“At this time, there are folks who want to cause violence that can hurt everybody, and I want to make sure that does not happen and that we honor this family’s wishes,” Beshear said in his prepared statement.

He also reminded protesters that we’re still in the midst of a global pandemic.  He urged continued social distancing and to wear masks at protests.  He also asked people who have been at protests, in close proximity to other people, to stay away from the elderly and anyone who is vulnerable to the coronavirus in the coming days and weeks.

Protests have turned violent in Louisville with people being shot, police being shot at and numerous arrests.  The Kentucky National Guard was called-in over the weekend to help restore order and the mayor instituted a dusk-to-dawn curfew.

Much of the reaction in Louisville has been to the shooting death of medical worker Breonna Taylor on March 13, 2020 and to the death in Minneapolis, Minnesota of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer pressed a knee on his neck.

Records show executing a no-knock search warrant, Louisville Police used a battering ram to crash into Breonna Taylor’s apartment as part of a drug raid.  Documents say after a brief confrontation, Taylor was shot several times by police and killed.  Records show no drugs were found in the apartment and that Taylor was not armed.

Louisville Police say they only fired after they were shot at upon entering the apartment by Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.  Walker wounded one of the officer’s. Walker was initially charged, but that charge was dismissed earlier this month.




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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at You can also follow Tom on Facebook and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.