READ LAWSUIT: FOP sues to block Lexington’s no-knock search ban
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Fraternal Order of Police Bluegrass Lodge #4 in Lexington filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Fayette Circuit Court asking for a restraining order and/or temporary injunction against implementing the city’s new ban on no-knock search warrants.
The lawsuit claims the city violated its collective bargaining agreement with the FOP by passing the ban last Thursday that the mayor then signed into law. The lawsuit names the mayor and Urban County Council members.
The FOP also claims in its suit the local ordinance “stands in direct conflict” with a new state law that restricts the use of no-knock warrants.
On its Facebook page, the FOP Bluegrass Lodge #4 wrote, “The FOP is committed to protecting the safety and well being of our members, even if city officials are not.”
ABC 36 News reached out to the city for comment on the lawsuit. Spokesperson Susan Straub said, “The city does not comment on open lawsuits.” The city has 20 days to respond to the lawsuit, according to the FOP’s attorney.
During the debate over whether to ban no-knock search warrants following the police shooting death of Breonna Taylor by Louisville Metro Police officers during a botched no-knock warrant more than a year ago, Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers repeatedly said the warrants, while seldom used by Lexington Police, are a vital tool for the department to keep officers and the public safe. He did not want use of the no-knock warrant banned. Mayor Linda Gorton backed Chief Weathers. On June 24, the Urban County Council approved the ban by a vote of 10-to-5.
Black faith leaders in Lexington, a police accountability group and others calling for racial justice and police reform called for and supported the ban.