Today was a small victory in the fight for justice in Lexington, KY. The recommendations from the Law Enforcement and Justice Subcommitee of the Mayor’s Commission for Racial Justice and Equality speak life to demands of black and brown people in this community have made for decades. Yet, there is a deeper and darker struggle that went unacknowledged today. Dr. Gerald Smith, the commission co-chair, acknowledged the pivotal role thousands of people played in taking to the streets. He acknowledged that the commission is a result of the sustained protests that began in May of this year.
While we appreciate that acknowledgement, there are leaders in this fight for justice that are still facing criminal charges at the hands of the criminal injustice system. The most serious charges include inciting a riot. In over 44 days of sustained non-violent protests in this city, nothing was destroyed or burned. A fact that should have been acknowledged in today’s press conferences. On such a historic day, hope for the future should include dropping the charges against the leaders pivotal in bringing Lexington to this moment today.
If this city is truly dedicated to justice, then the charges against the people courageous enough to demand this city acknowledge the truth of its’ “racial dilemma” should not be convicted for troubling the waters with “good trouble.” Today’s victory should leave NO political prisoners in its wake. Drop the charges. This should be the cry of the people in this city and it’s leaders, on this day if we are to complete the “difficult work” ahead.
Stay tuned to People’s Blueprint for an in-depth look at the recommendations of the commission and next steps to ensure our elected officials follow through. The “difficult work” is just beginning.
The recommendations of the commission can be found here: https://www.lexingtonky.gov/sites/default/files/2020-10/Final%20Commission%20for%20Racial%20Justice%20and%20Equality%20Report.pdf