Arkansas Law Enforcement

KATV, Channel 7 News

Authorities are investigating after a man died while in custody of Little Rock police.

Little Rock police Lt. Steven McClanahan says the death happened after officers responded to a report of a suspicious person at an address in southwest Little Rock Thursday night. McClanahan says officers located a suspect, who later died in police custody.

Police have not identified the man or released the circumstances of his death. McClanahan says more details will be released later Friday.

Judge Wendell Griffen at Truthful Tuesday on the steps of the state Capitol in 2014.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

An outspoken Arkansas circuit court judge says there is systematic injustice in law enforcement.

Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Wendell Griffen along with Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and other officials gathered for a community forum called We Speak! Monday night in Jacksonville to discuss issues around policing and the black community.

Police In Arkansas Meeting With Black Communities To Improve Relations

Aug 1, 2016
Jonesboro Police
Jonesboro Police Department

Recent police-involved shootings and the targeting of officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge has the nation on edge. Black communities and law enforcement throughout the country are struggling to find peace, unity, understanding, and trust with each other, including in Arkansas.

Monroe County authorities say a suspect has been arrested in a shooting at a Clarendon police officer.

Sheriff Michael Neal says the 23-year-old suspect from Clarendon was arrested Monday night on four counts of committing terroristic acts and four counts of aggravated assault for opening fire as the officer arrived home Saturday.

The officer was not injured, but the house was struck by gunfire in what Neal called an ambush attack.

Online court records on Tuesday did not show that formal charges have been filed.

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."

Little Rock Police
KATV, Channel 7 News

An ordinance that would require officers with the Little Rock Police Department to reside within the city is to eventually be presented to the Little Rock Board of Directors.

Toney Orr, a community activist, says having police live in Little Rock would help them connect with the communities they serve.

Arkansas says it has a new supply of a drug used for lethal injections that had expired last month, potentially clearing the way for the state to resume executions after a decade-long hiatus.

The state Department of Correction on Tuesday said it had received a supply of vecuronium bromide with an expiration date of March 1, 2018. The state's previous supply of the paralytic expired on June 30.

The announcement comes less than a month after the Arkansas Supreme Court upheld a state law that keeps information about lethal injection drugs confidential.

Pulaski County Judge Wendell Griffen
PBS

Amid the unrest over police-related shootings around the country and the attack on officers in Dallas, a central Arkansas judge is weighing in.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen says he has long seen the results of the nation’s criminal justice system, and spoke with KUAR’s Michael Hibblen.  You can hear the interview above.

MICHAEL HIBBLEN: Given everything that you've been seeing in the news and coming out, what are your thoughts at this point?

Black Lives Matter Interstate 40 bridge over Mississippi River
KATV, Channel 7 News

Hundreds of protesters angry over police killings of black people occupied a key bridge over the Mississippi River Sunday night, blocking an interstate highway for hours before officers moved them off.

Traffic on Interstate 40 stopped in both directions after Black Lives Matter protesters marched onto the bridge. Police in squad cars tried to stop them, but several hundred had already made their way up the ramp, and the crowd swelled to more than 1,000.

Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Scores of young people made up the bulk of a diverse crowd about 200 on the state Capitol steps on Friday, calling for an end to police violence against African-Americans. The show of support for the Black Lives Matter movement came after the latest round of national incidents involving police officers killing seemingly cooperative young, black men. Organizers under the auspices of Hands Up, Guns Down also unequivocally condemned the killing of police officers in Dallas.

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