Arkansas Law Enforcement

A federal appeals court in St. Louis is scheduled to hear oral arguments as part of a wrongful death lawsuit by the family of a 67-year-old Arkansas man killed by an off-duty Little Rock police officer.

The female officer and a colleague who also was working private security when Eugene Ellison was shot to death in December 2010 want the appeals court to overturn a lower court ruling denying their immunity claims in the suit by Ellison's family.

Eugene Ellison
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

Attorneys for the family of Eugene Ellison, a 67-year-old man killed by off duty Little Rock Police officers in his home four years ago, held a forum Tuesday night. It came two days before an appeal of a lawsuit against the department will be heard in the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Saint Louis.

Ellison was shot in his home when two officers working as security at his apartment complex approached his unit and an altercation ensued. Chicago attorney Mike Laux said Ellison’s it was a wrongful death.

Governor-elect Asa Hutchinson named has Bill Bryant, formerly of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, as the new director of the Arkansas State Police. Bryant is a resident of Little Rock.

Stan Witt, the current director of the state police, announced yesterday that he would not be retained in the post.

Governor-elect Asa Hutchinson has told the head of Arkansas State Police that the agency will have a new director after Hutchinson takes office next year.

Col. Stan Witt told employees Tuesday that Hutchinson had told him that he won't be staying on as director of State Police when the new governor is sworn into office in January.

A spokesman for Hutchinson confirmed that Hutchinson didn't plan to keep Witt as ASP director. Hutchinson has not announced who he'll name as Witt's replacement.

The Little Rock Police Department says it will release a new policy governing how officers should treat members of the city's transgender community they make contact with.

The department will release the new policy Wednesday at the Transgender Day of Remembrance at Philander Smith College.

Lt. Sidney Allen says the department has been working with the Arkansas Transgender Equality Coalition in drafting the new policy for officers to follow.

Allen says the new policy will reflect the department's goal of protecting the rights of all citizens.

A former Arkansas State Police lieutenant has been sentenced to more than 11 years in prison after pleading guilty in a drug case.

Prosecutors had accused former Lt. Sedrick Reed of conspiring to distribute and possess cocaine. At a plea hearing in July, Reed admitted taking drugs from a traffic stop and the Arkansas State Police evidence locker.

Federal prosecutors say Reed admitted making more than $200,000 in profit from the stolen drugs.

Eric Holder
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Attorney General Eric Holder says the unrest after a police officer in Missouri fatally shot an unarmed black man in August shows law enforcement can't let tensions with the community go unresolved.

Holder told a group of mayors and police chiefs that the shooting of Michael Brown by white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson and the protests that followed show the need for expanded collaboration among law enforcement and the communities they serve.

The Little Rock Police Department is now posting online a list of all calls its officers are dispatched to, but on a half hour delay.

Over the summer, the agency began encrypting police radio traffic, saying that allowing people to hear police activity in real time on scanners or smart phone apps was compromising officer safety. Lawsuits were filed, calling it a violation of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.

U.S. Marshals Museum To Break Ground In Fort Smith

Sep 22, 2014
U.S. Marshal Museum Website

Ground will be broken Wednesday in Fort Smith for the long-anticipated U.S. Marshals Museum. The Western Arkansas city was chosen out of a sixteen city national competition.

This groundbreaking ceremony coincides with the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Marshals Service, an appropriate match considering Fort Smith is a venerated place in the Service’s history.

Jim Dunn is president and CEO of the museum. He said the decision was made by the US Marshals Service Director, John Clark.  

Jonesboro Police
Jonesboro Police