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Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton announces leaders of citizens group established to address racial equality

Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton on Monday announced Roszalyn Akins, educator, Executive Director of BMW Academy and civic leader, and Dr. Gerald Smith, University of Kentucky History professor and Pastor of Pilgrim Baptist Church, will co-chair a group she is appointing to recommend changes concerning racial equality.

“Everyone is impatient for change, including me,” Gorton said. “While I understand change won’t happen overnight, I am determined to make many improvements quickly and to continue to make immediate changes as opportunities present themselves. We need long-term, systemic change.”

Mayor Linda Gorton

Gorton has spent the last two weeks listening to protestors and talking to Council members, Police Chief Lawrence Weathers, the Fraternal Order of Police and others. “I have carefully crafted a group that I believe can help our City move forward,” Gorton said.

Akins and Smith will have a voice in naming the group, and in identifying members. The group is expected to include citizens, representatives of the courts, the faith community, the Urban County Council, and others.

Some of the issues the Mayor has identified include health disparities, economic and educational opportunities and justice issues.

“Lexington is a city that strives to be safe and inclusive for everyone,” Gorton said. “But that doesn’t mean we are perfect. We know we have work to do.”

Gorton said after consulting with police and citizens she has already moved forward on one issue. She, along with the concurrence of Chief Weathers, has placed an immediate moratorium on controversial no-knock warrants, except in life-and-death cases.

No-knock warrants have been controversial for years, but that concern has been elevated since the March 13 shooting death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville. Police entered her home on a no-knock warrant.

No-knock warrants are used rarely in Lexington, and have always required the signature of a judge.

From City of Lexington

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One Comment

  1. Mario White says:

    Mayor Gorton,
    I have a question? Do you not think white people get treated like s*** by your cops? They do! All the time! You are racial profiling! All lives matter but all lives can’t matter until BLACK AND WHITE lives matter! Just because they are protesting, you need to think about the white population too! We never get our requests for change! Most of your cops s***! However, a few may be good. But you never hear about us! We are just as equal. So don’t be making it all about blacks because they are protesting, it also goes a lot more I’d say for whites! It’s ridiculous! They don’t make the d*** rules! You are letting them! Terrible and obnoxious I say!

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