Activist community

‘There are many unanswered questions:’ Nicholasville community seeks answers and rallies for Desman LaDuke

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (WKYT) – Three weeks after a shooting involving an officer in Jessamine County, the community came together to protest in honor of Desman LaDuke, who lost his life in the incident.

Saturday’s rally provided the Nicholasville community with a space to not only celebrate Desman LaDuke’s life, but also to ask what led to that life being taken so soon.

“The sacrifice you are making here today will not be in vain,” said Terry Dumphord, who is president of the Bourbon County NAACP.

Kentucky State Police are still investigating the shooting involving an officer. But LPD Accountability activist Sarah Williams joined LaDuke’s friends and family to do their own research.

“There are a lot of unanswered questions and the Nicholasville Police Department hasn’t responded,” said Williams, who also organized Saturday’s rally. “Maybe they thought it would be swept under the rug, that we weren’t coming, but there will be some liability.”

Their efforts began Saturday when they drove through Nicholasville, past the place LaDuke called home and onto the steps of the Jessamine County Courthouse.

Williams says displays like this are made to show Nicholasville police that they are watching them and waiting for those answers to come.

“We have requests,” Williams said. “We want the Department of Justice to come and investigate them. As if it happens, there are obvious problems in the way this department operates and functions.

Williams says their other demands include the release of body camera footage of the Oct. 22 incident. They also call for a change in how the department approaches these kinds of situations, so that no one else has to lose their life like LaDuke.

“We need a team of people who are really trained and educated to intervene appropriately on these things without resorting to violence,” Williams said.

Nicholasville Police said they could not comment on the day’s events and have referred Kentucky State Police while the investigation continues.