LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX18) – The NAACP has released a statement regarding footage of an altercation between two off-duty Lexington police officers and a juvenile male that occurred at the Fayette Mall.
The initial incident occurred around 8:45 p.m. Saturday, February 2 near the H&M store at Fayette Mall. Two officers working an off-duty assignment were asked by mall security to investigate a group of teenagers in the mall.
Police say that a 16-year-old in the group was non-compliant with an officer’s request and a physical altercation ensued.
Video of the incident was widely circulated on social media following the incident.
The NAACP released a statement. It reads as follows:
We are concerned by the violence and police-citizen interaction documented in this video. We have discussed the video with Chief Weathers and await the Lexington Police Department’s (LPD) investigation. We believe it prudent to allow the police time to fact find and follow due process, so we urge patience. We call for reservation of judgment for all parties, most particularly for the minor involved, who being a child, can suffer great harm from online bullying and mockery.
We would like to see the officer in question be pulled from any civilian interaction until this investigation is complete. Interactions with all citizens, whether that citizen is a child or an adult, are extremely important. Consequently, this investigation should be treated seriously. For a community to trust in law enforcement, it must see that they are there for all of us.
We would like to acknowledge the substantive past and ongoing efforts of Lexington Police officers, such as their collaborations with the Autism Society of the Bluegrass, to help disabled children and to mitigate their risk of exposure to violence. We know that our LPD leadership, as well as LPD rank and file, have the same interest in the welfare of children as do we. However, we must all be held to the highest standards for citizenship. Thus we expect and look forward to a full report, with actionable steps as well as appropriate accountability that will help prevent a situation like this from happening in the future.
Lexington police released a plea for witnesses to come forward.
“As with all use of force incidents, the department is reviewing what happened. We continue to receive information from witnesses, and are encouraging anyone else who may have witnessed the incident, has video or pictures from the scene, or has other pertinent information, to contact the Lexington Police Department by calling 859-258-3600,” reads the statement from the police.