Little Rock’s nightly curfew has been lifted, as announced by Mayor Frank Scott Jr. on June 8.
Little Rock has been under a 10 p.m. curfew since Friday, June 5. Previously, the curfew had been set at 8 p.m. since Tuesday, June 2. City officials instituted the curfew after receiving credible intent on potential threats to public figures, as Arkansas Money & Politics reported on June 2. In addition, Scott had imposed a city curfew during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic; this curfew ended May 21.
In addition, Gov. Asa Hutchinson has agreed to reduce the state police presence in the city, as well as begin transitioning the National Guard back into their previous roles.
Scott and Little Rock Police Department (LRPD) Chief of Police Keith Humphrey addressed the administrations establishment of an independent review of the LRPD and a citizens’ review board, as well as policy changes in the police department.
Scott explained that the independent review committee of LRPD, which will collaborate with a firm and oversee a review over policies, procedures and practices in the police department, began two weeks ago, before the murder of George Floyd. The committee is comprised of seven lawyers, one retired police officer and one sociology professor.
The mayor also noted that the citizens’ review board is a part of his administration’s “ACT Plan,” which was instituted 18 months ago represents his intention to be accountable, clear and transparent. This plan also instigated the budgeted body cameras for all police officers in the city. The board is set to review their first hearing in the near future, which will address a recent police incident with State Representative Vivian Flowers and Rev. Ryan Davis.
As for the policy changes in the LRPD, Humphrey announced the department has begun a review, which will be performed by the Arkansas State Police, on cases regarding all officer-involved shootings and in-custody deaths. In addition, Humphrey said the LRPD will be modifying its force policy.
“Part of being a 20thcentury police officer is being transparent,” Humphrey said. “We are transparent, and we’re going to continue to become more transparent.”
Humphrey also noted that all protests over the weekend were peaceful and resulted in only six arrests, all due to traffic warrants.