Protesters stage die-in to call for firing of chaplain accused of using excessive force


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- Protesters staged a die-in Sunday afternoon inside the Fayette Mall to send a message about a Lexington police officer they want fired.

Protesters laid on the ground for several minutes and passed out pamphlets about police accountability.

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They say they want to see Lexington Police Chaplain, Officer Donovan Stewart, fired.

Cell phone video from February 2019 shows him punching an autistic teenager at the mall.

Officers say the teen was with friends and the group was being disorderly in several stores.

That teen’s parent is suing Stewart and the city for a combined $1.5 million for using excessive force.

Lexington Police say they can’t take action until all suits are resolved, but protesters say that’s not true and they want to see Stewart fired.

They are also asking the following relating to mall security and the Lexington Police Department:

– end racial profiling of mall patrons
– end moonlighting of LPD officers as mall security
– If LPD officers are actively engaged in responding to alleged criminal activity at the mall, they must be required to wear a body camera and have it turned on.
– that Donovan Stewart never be allowed to work mall security again

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at She looks forward to hearing from you!