Please take a moment to email our elected public officials about Vice Mayor Steve Kay’s proposed amendment to local law that would prohibit council members from asking questions or seeking further information about officers whose disciplinary actions are voted on by council.
Vice Mayor Steve Kay is pushing a vote on this amendment at this Thursday’s city council meeting. The same meeting in which the Law Enforcement and Justice Subcommitte of the Mayors’ Commission on Racial Justice will make their recommendations to council. There is absolutely no urgent reason as to why this amendment needs to be rushed through a vote, especially when this amendment will diminish council members access to information fundamental to oversight and accountability at the Lexington Police Department.
Video of council work session and council discussion of this amendment:
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To my elected public officials,
Recently, Vice Mayor Steve Kay introduced an amendment to local law that would prohibit councilmembers from asking the police chief and police officers questions regarding discipline they have been asked to vote on, trusting instead to leave the burden of information-getting and giving to the police themselves, so long as they provide “as much information as possible”. In a time when so many of us recognize the need for greater oversight, accountability and transparency from our police force, this is a grave misstep. We need MORE council oversight and flexibility regarding police matters not less. Especially since who needs “discipline” and why is still left entirely up to the discretion of the police themselves. (Already, an officer’s behavior might only result in “training” or “counseling”, and when this happens, council/the public/the mayor know absolutely nothing about it — not the behavior, not the result, nothing.) The only way the police will ever have to answer to us — the public — is if they have to answer to you, our elected officials. Curbing your ability to ask questions in regards to these very important matters is not at all what we need.
Please vote no, and listen to your constituents concerns on this agenda item at the October 22, 2020 city council meeting.
A concerned citizen
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