Crime

About 200 protesters march in downtown Lexington to show solidarity with protesters in Ferguson, Mo.

Rashad Cole raised his fist while observing a 41/2-minute moment of silence in downtown Lexington on Tuesday night during an demonstration in solidarity with protests in Ferguson, Mo., following a decision not to indict a police officer who killed a teen.
Rashad Cole raised his fist while observing a 41/2-minute moment of silence in downtown Lexington on Tuesday night during an demonstration in solidarity with protests in Ferguson, Mo., following a decision not to indict a police officer who killed a teen. Herald-Leader

There are 340 miles between Lexington and Ferguson, Mo., but a crowd of about 200 demonstrators marched downtown Tuesday night to show their solidarity with protesters there.

The peaceful but impassioned group chanted while walking down North Limestone past the federal and county courthouses, then turned onto Main Street and marched past the police station and back to the courthouse plaza.

There, speakers deplored the death of Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9, and a St. Louis County grand jury's decision Monday night not to indict Wilson.

"The goal is to let people in Ferguson know that injustice is not just there in Ferguson," said Lamin Swann, who helped organize the event through Stop Mass Incarceration Network KY. "They're not alone. We're here to support them."

He said "systemic institutional injustice, discrimination" was a problem throughout the nation.

Most of the marchers were young adults, many of whom identified themselves with the University of Kentucky and Berea College.

Enchanta Jackson said that in addition to deaths at the hands of police, there are other, more common forms of injustice rooted in racial bias that need to be addressed, such as black men being pulled over by police without cause.

"It is time for Lexington to stop being afraid to talk about race," Jackson said.

April Taylor, another of the organizers, said a group was forming to engage in some nonviolent acts of civil disobedience.

She said there was a desire for the creation of a civilian review board for Lexington police.

And she said a "campaign against the war on drugs" was being planned.

"They use the war on drugs to justify a lot of things," she told the crowd, calling it a system that needed to be dismantled.

The group plans to meet at 3 p.m. Sunday at Third Street Stuff to continue its discussion.

"This is the new civil rights movement of our generation," Sarah Williams told the crowd.

During the march, there were shouts of "Hey hey, ho ho, these killer cops have got to go" and "This is what democracy looks like."

Demonstrators carried signs with messages such as "The whole system is guilty" and "Black lives matter."

During the gathering at the courthouse plaza, the crowd spent 4½ minutes in silence, a reminder of the number of hours Brown's body lay in the street. With the federal courthouse in front of them, they huddled, some with heads bowed.

But one man faced Main Street and the cars passing by, looking straight ahead with his hands raised.

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