Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. announced an upcoming executive order to be signed that will require face coverings in public spaces that do not allow for social distancing.
In addition, Scott, alongside Little Rock Police Department (LRPD) Chief Keith Humphrey, introduced an executive order that was signed after the press conference this afternoon, banning neck restraint practices within the LRPD.
The executive order requiring the use of face coverings in Little Rock is an update to Scott’s previous COVID-19 response campaign and is entitled “Keep Covered Keep Your Distance.” It comes as a response to medical officials’ expectation of a coronavirus surge in September. Scott said that the Little Rock city attorney is currently drafting the order, which is expected to be completed “as early as next week.”
“Despite states reopening, we are still in a pandemic, people are still getting sick, and there are still deaths in our state and our capital city,” Scott said. “We want to be proactive and not reactive.”
Any type of face covering will be allowed, and Scott alluded to disciplinary measures if the order is not followed, referencing the city curfew enforcement measures.
As for the executive order banning chokeholds in the LRPD, Humphrey noted that while neck chokeholds have been banned in the department for some time now, they can “do a better job.” Currently, the LRPD has used forms of “vascular neck restraint,” but from this point forward, they will not allow that nor teach the practice.
“This is a new day in law enforcement,” Humphrey said. “The things that we used to do – even as recent as last week – we cannot do anymore.”