Lexington moves closer to a ban on no-knock warrants

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) – An ordinance that would ban Lexington police from executing no-knock warrants is headed to Urban City Council for consideration.

It passed through a council work session Tuesday with a 9-6 vote. Advocates for the ordinance call the vote a win, and are optimistic it will ultimately pass.

Tanya Fogle is passionate for what she believes in, and Lexington banning no-knock warrants is on that list.

“I’m excited!” Fogle said.

She was among several watching the council’s work session as they discussed the proposed ordinance that would ban the police tactic in Lexington.

“Like many people have said. This was not an attack on the police department. It’s an attack on the policies that Black and brown people live under,” Fogle said.

For more than an hour, council debated the ordinance and heard from several people during public comment who encouraged them to pass it on to full council. Police Chief Lawrence Weathers also weighed in again, stating it’s only been used by the department four times in the last five years.

“I understand the reference to disproportionality. But I also understand that I have a commitment to this community and some of the crimes that we have to address affect the Black community as well and that sometimes is disproportionate. So I need to have certain tools at my disposal,” Chief Weathers said.

Councilman James Brown originally introduced the measure. He says he feels a responsibility to listen to constituents who have spoken up and supported the ban.

“I think it’s our responsibility to not be tone deaf, to listen to the Black community in regards to no-knock warrants, and take this opportunity to be responsive and move forward with the complete ban,” Councilman Brown said.

Activists like Fogle say they are feeling momentum heading into the next phase of the process through council, and will be watching closely as they make their voices heard.

“We’re not going to let up. We’re going to stay in the forefront,” Fogle said.

The ordinance is expected to be addressed in council as early as their meeting Thursday.

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