LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Little Rock’s Mayor announced new details Monday on a committee he’s putting together to shed light on what’s been going on in the Little Rock Police Department.
In May, Mayor Frank Scott Jr. called for an Independent Review Committee in the wake of a growing list of lawsuits brought against Chief Keith Humphrey.
“It will look into and review policies, procedures, and practices,” Scott said. “The Little Rock Police Department is a very litigious department so this type of review helps us to figure out how we can subside the number of lawsuits.”
In nearly a month four lawsuits have been brought by 9 current officers and a department employee, all against Humphrey.
“Harassment, discrimination, abuse of authority, the handling of confidential information, Freedom of Information act issues and things of that nature, all of that will be a part of this comprehensive review,” Scott said.
Each investigation will start with a firm that Scott says will be paid for by the city. That firm will then recommend changes to a 9-member committee who were hand-picked by Scott.
“Seven lawyers, a retired police officer, and a sociology professor,” Scott said. “They will be working in collaboration with a firm that focuses on these reviews of this type of a nature to help with fact finding that will be guided by the scope of the Independent Review Committee. Once those facts are presented to that committee, that committee will review that conclusion report and provide recommendations.”
Those committee members are:
- Lt. Bennie F. Bowers – Ret., Michigan State Police
- Furonda Brasfield – Attorney
- Arkie Byrd – Partner, Mays, Byrd & Associates
- Paula Casey – Former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District
- John DiPippa – Dean Emeritus, UA-Little Rock Bowen School of Law
- Tamika Edwards – Executive Director, Social Justice Institute at Philander Smith College
- Michelle Kaemmerling- Partner, Wright Lindsey Jennings
- Phillip Kaplan – Attorney, Cross, Gunter, Witherspoon and Galchus, P.C.
- Dr. Terry Trevino-Richard – Professor Emeritus of Sociology, UA-Little Rock
While the Mayor laid out that plan, he shared the stage with Humphrey. Humphrey did not weigh in on the committee, instead, he talked about how he’s creating his own team of citizens he called the Constructive Creative Conversation Team.
“We’re going to have an open conversation about things occurring in our city,” Humphrey said. “I want to include individuals that may have been incarcerated at one time, individuals from all socio-economic areas, members of the police department, to sit down and have those really strong conversations and help us get better.”
Humphrey didn’t lay out specifics for that team, promising he’s still working out the details.
All of this is coming on top of the Citizen Review Board the city formed last year.
That 5-member board is tasked with investigating corruption, use of force, and discrimination at the police department.
At Monday’s press conference, the Mayor said the Citizen Review Board is prepared to start meeting.
As far as the new groups called for by the Mayor and Chief, several members of the City Board of Directors say they haven’t been included in those decisions and are waiting to speak with the Mayor before commenting.