Little Rock seeks Arkansas AG opinion on denying release of LRPD chief’s records after he fires gun on NYE

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The City of Little Rock says it will ask the Arkansas Attorney General for an opinion after a public records request was denied by police after the chief fired his gun on New Year’s Eve.

FOX16 Investigates sent several requests, under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, to the Little Rock Police Department for Chief Keith Humphrey’s training records, weapon qualifications and other documents.

Little Rock city attorney Tom Carpenter and the police department denied the request, with Carpenter saying the Arkansas State Police and the Pulaski County Prosecutor’s Office consider the records part of an ongoing investigation.

During a Little Rock Board of Directors meeting Tuesday, Carpenter notified board members he would request an Attorney General’s opinion.

“I think you all are at risk, personally and as the city, because we are withholding things that seem to clearly be subject to release under FOI,” he said.

Police officials have not answered whether Humphrey was wearing a bodycam at the time he fired his gun at a suspected shooter on New Year’s Eve.

When another officer shot someone last May, police released footage of the shooting about a week after it happened, though prosecutors say they were not consulted prior.

The city spent nearly a million dollars to buy the body cameras back in 2020, and they were deployed under Humphrey’s watch.

Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler confirmed Wednesday that special agents continue to investigate the chief’s shots fired incident.

“The Arkansas State Police investigation into the December 31, 2021, use of deadly force by a Little Rock police officer remains active,” Sadler said.

Mayor Frank Scott Jr. said during a January 4 board meeting that the police department’s internal affairs unit will handle the administrative investigation. That unit is responsible for investigating potential policy violations and usually report directly to Humphrey.

Vice Mayor Lance Hines asked Scott at that January 4 meeting how the internal investigation would be handled.

“The city of Little Rock’s police chief is on administrative leave. We have an acting chief of police. Everything that would normally be would be in that same process in chain of command,” Scott answered.

Chief Humphrey was placed on paid leave following the shooting. Mayor Scott announced January 12 that the chief would return to active duty Thursday.

Both the criminal and internal investigations will continue, according to the city.

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