Arkansas Civil Rights

Secretary interior Sally jewell transportation secretary Anthony Foxx National Park Service Ranger Jodi Morris
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Two members of President Obama’s cabinet visited Little Rock Tuesday, getting a firsthand look at the historic Central High School. It was part of a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

A federal lawsuit alleges twelve percent of the city of Sherwood is being funded through predatory practices of a bad checks court system.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas partnered with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law to file the case against the city and Pulaski County.  

Attorney Bettina Brownstein says the city imposes a ceaseless punishment of jail time and escalating fines for those who write bad checks and can’t cover the cost of an initial court fine.

A view of the Jefferson County Courthouse in Pine Bluff from inside the historic, but crumbling Hotel Pines.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Nine Pine Bluff police officers returned their Medals of Valor on Thursday after the city council directed scrutiny over why they were awarded. KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman spoke with council member Thelma Walker about a police shooting and the death of a 107-year-old man.

Sec. of State Mark Martin (R)
sos.arkansas.gov / Secretary of State's Office

The Democratic Party of Arkansas has retained the Rose Law Firm for a potential Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against Secretary of State Mark Martin’s office.

Talk Business & Politics reports party officials also plan to make other FOIA requests, and with allied groups, are considering hiring an Atlanta-based voting rights litigation specialist and suing the office in federal court.

Early voters
Sarah-Koditschek / KUAR

The Democratic Party of Arkansas says the Secretary of State’s office has promised to turn over documents related to 7,730 voters it recommended county clerks remove from voting rolls.

Party legal counsel Chris Burks says Mark Martin’s office did not respond within the required three days to a Freedom of Information Act Request for information.

He says the documents could show why Martin's office requested outdated voter rolls from the state's Crime Information center and distributed them to county clerks.  

A year after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, some Arkansas congregations are embracing unions they have traditionally excluded.

Robert Miller of Arkansas's chapter of the League of the South holds a Confederate battle flag and the LOS flag on Capitol grounds.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Former Ku Klux Klan leader and former Louisiana Republican state representative David Duke says the climate is right for him to seek public office once again. Duke, referencing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, announced on Friday he's running in the state's U.S. Senate race.

A black man who was incapacitated with a stun gun is suing the white Arkansas police officer who arrested him.

Chardrick Mitchell on Wednesday filed the civil suit in Mississippi County against Blytheville Officer Stephen Sigman, Police Chief Ross Thompson and the city of Blytheville.

The lawsuit says police video shows Mitchell was walking away from Sigman on July 4 when the officer fired his stun gun at roughly the same time he announced Mitchell was under arrest. It alleges there's an "institutionalized practice of using excessive force against African-Americans."

Pres. Bill Clinton
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

An invitation-only event in Little Rock Thursday will bring together former world leaders and Arkansas civil rights pioneers.

The graduation ceremony for the 2016 class of the Presidential Leadership Scholars Program will feature former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who served while the two were in office, and three members of the Little Rock Nine.

Ernest Green, Minnijean Brown-Trickey and Carlotta Walls LaNier were among the black students who integrated Central High School in 1957.

File photo: Governor Asa Hutchinson in the Governor's Conference Room of the state Capitol.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Gov. Asa Hutchinson is hoping Arkansas will resume executing death row inmates before January, when one of the three drugs used in the state’s lethal injection mixture will expire. 

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