UPDATE, JULY 9, 4:30 P.M.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – As expected, Lexington Police Chaplain Cameron Stewart announced at a press conference just before noon that he is retiring from the police department effective Saturday.
In February 2019, Stewart was shown on video apparently striking an autistic 16-year-old during an incident at Fayette Mall. The city’s investigation into that incident continues as lawsuits against the department drag on.
But a small group of protesters outside the announcement say that’s not enough and the city should complete an investigation into a February 2019 incident involving Stewart and an autistic teenager.
A Federal lawsuit was filed against Stewart earlier this year over the mall incident. Stewart announced Thursday he has filed a lawsuit of his own in Fayette Circuit Court claiming defamation, emotional distress, and career harm. Protest organizer Sarah Williams is one of those named in that lawsuit.
UPDATE 7/8/20 10:30 p.m.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- Protesters who have been organizing “Fire Donovan Stewart” rallies at the Fayette Mall have announced they’ll protest Thursday morning outside the FOP Lodge as Stewart speaks publicly for the first time.
7/8/20 8:00 p.m.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- Former Lexington Police Chaplain Donovan Stewart will retire this weekend, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
The newspaper reports Stewart will retire Saturday.
Earlier this week, Stewart was reassigned to the patrol division after the Lexington Police Department announced it was restructuring and eliminating the chaplain position, replacing it with a non-officer wellness coordinator. The department said at the time that decision was not connected to an incident at the Fayette Mall in 2019.
The Herald-Leader reports the pension board has approved retirements of six other police officers in June and July, including:
Sgt. Franklin Patrick, Sgt. Allen Culver, Officer Bart Morse, Officer Christopher Russell, Officer Michael Carroll, and Sgt. Todd Iddings.
Board member and Fraternal Order of Police Bluegrass Lodge 4 President Lt. Jonathan Bastian is among those in the state who have said a record number of officers are retiring right now.