UPDATE: Mayor signs into law ban on no knock warrants in Lexington
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Friday morning Mayor Linda Gorton signed into law a ban on no-knock warrants in Lexington, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Council members passed it Thursday night and Mayor Gorton had the option to sign it or veto it.
ORIGINAL STORY POSTED THURSDAY 10:30 P.M.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Thursday night…the final vote on the ordinance to ban no knock warrants in Lexington.
But first, a substitute to the ordinance proposed by council member Preston Worley.
His substitute would regulate the use of no knock warrants by the division of police, would ban no knock warrants solely for the purpose of preservation of evidence, but not life saving measures and require the Chief, the Commissioner of Public Safety, the Mayor and County Attorney to be consulted.
It would also keep the requirement that police officers wear and activate body worn cameras during warrants.
“I believe that this accomplishes many of our community’s goals in trying to make this a highly regulated rarely used tool” said Council Member Worley.
Council members allowed public comment after the substitute, before a vote was made.
40 people spoke. Every single one expressed disdain with the substitute proposal, and urged council to ban no knocks all together.
“This 11th hour bait and switch, those of you who would support it I beg all of you not to. It is unfair, it is undemocratic, and you disrespect my black neighbors” said community member, Reva Russell English.
Their disdain was also expressed through multiple council members…
“Actions like this last minute substitution erodes confidence in government and compounds the idea that our peoples government does not work for them” said Council Member, Liz Sheehan.
Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers, who has previously spoken out to council urging them not to ban no knocks, spoke again, this time telling council that although he remains opposed…council should do what they need to do to please the community…and that he will follow their decision.
“My goal will still be to maintain the life and safety of everybody on both sides of that door” said Chief Weathers.
Council voted to reject the substitute proposal, then moving on to vote on the original ordinance to ban no knock warrants.
That vote came out 10 to 5 in favor of banning no knock warrants.