Protesters marched on Saturday afternoon in support of a 19-year-old boy who was seriously injured by a Lexington police car, shouting that “mental illness is not a crime” and “life with autism is important.”
Liam Long suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, a broken nose and shoulder, and multiple lacerations requiring seams after being attacked by a cruiser on March 30 while experiencing a mental health crisis. His family said Long was autistic and he remained hospitalized and could not walk without help since the clash.
Community organizer April Taylor said Group LPD Accountability hosted the rally downtown because “we are still looking for the perfect truth” about what happened to Long.
Lexington Police released a body camera video on Friday night It indicates that Long was attacked by a cruiser after the cruiser encountered a street while being tracked by police officers on foot. Police said he had a knife and threatened the police and his caseworker.
Taylor said she believes there are more body camera footage from incidents that may be related.
“It’s the body camera footage we want to access,” she said.
However, she admitted to the group that gathered for the rally that this week’s video release was “unprecedented.”
“Thank you for the release of the body camera footage,” she said.
Mr Taylor said LPD’s accountability calls for changes to police collective bargaining agreements that require body camera footage to be released within three days of a serious or forceful incident. “
Long’s mother, Kendra Long, attended the rally but did not comment on body camera footage released by police.
“For Liam, I humbled everyone to appear today, especially in the rain,” she said.
“I’m excited to show this to Liam when he understands it well,” she said.
The group marched from downtown the courthouse to police headquarters and sought to obtain a blank copy of the form used by the Lexington Police Department to file a formal complaint against police officers.
Formal complaints about illegal activity can lead to disciplinary action, including dismissal, and informal complaints usually lead to counseling, Taylor said.Form above Police website Citizens’ comments are not in the form of formal complaints, and Taylor said police should not be able to “screen” for formal complaints.
She said members of the group failed to get a blank copy of the form for some time.
“I don’t know if it will be used in this particular case, but without a copy of the form, I can’t use it,” she said. “I feel it’s very important to get a blank copy of this form right now, as it has hindered access to this form. You can get it if you want.”
The form must be notarized, but Taylor said citizens should be able to fill it out and sign it at the police station.
“It’s time for them to stop obscuring the process so that they don’t understand it, and allow them to actually stand up and report when things go wrong,” Taylor said. Said.
When the march arrived at the police station on Saturday afternoon, the front door was locked and police officers who went out to talk to the group said they needed to return on weekdays.
“Community citizens deserve all forms and paperwork,” Kendra Long later said. “We need access to all forms and were clearly denied.”