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Police arrest 28 demonstrators in Little Rock

by Jack Mitchell | June 3, 2020 at 1:00 a.m.

LITTLE ROCK -- Police arrested 28 demonstrators who blocked an intersection in downtown Tuesday for much of the afternoon.

In 80-degree temperatures, the demonstrators stood in two lines on the crosswalks of Broadway and West Third Street. Some of them carried signs in the shape of headstones that named victims of police killings.

Joshua Dunlap, 29, said although protesters originally came out for George Floyd, there has been a lot more injustice before that, he said on the street corner. Floyd, an unarmed black man, died in Minneapolis at the hands of white police officer Derek Chauvin.

"We're just really here for everybody and all black men," he said. "And yes, all lives matter, but black lives are the one that's being taken."

Demonstrators remained peaceful when Little Rock police from a tactical unit arrived wearing helmets and carrying riot shields. The police warned protesters sitting and laying in a row in the crosswalk if they didn't leave, they would be arrested.

One by one, officers led and carried people away from the crosswalk and ziptied their hands. One man who approached the line of police and appeared to be taking photos or video was quickly grabbed. He yelled he was a journalist as officers carried him away.

After the demonstrators in the street had been arrested, police left while the other protesters and onlookers stayed on the sidewalk.

"I can say I respect the Little Rock police officers because they did their job, they did their duty," said Stephanie Brown, 39. "And they didn't cause any harm, they just did their job."

Brown, who was watching from the sidewalk as the demonstrators were arrested, said she also supports the individuals who showed up to protest.

She said "getting the message across is very important because our men, black men -- even though all lives matter -- our men, black men are being targeted."

Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Asa Hutchinson declared a state of emergency in response to protests across the state. The declaration established a unified commend between the Arkansas State Police, local law enforcement agencies, the state Department of Emergency Management, and the Arkansas National Guard.

A statement from Katie Beck, the governor's director of communications, said the declaration was a "normal executive order issued when the National Guard is activated under state control in regard to civil disturbance."

The Arkansas Pharmacists Association building on South Victory Street, damaged in each of the first two nights of protest, was partially burned Monday night, though the structure remained intact.

An annex to the building, which had windows broken, was boardedwith plywood Tuesday morning and a pair of artists spent the day creating a "health and wellness" themed mural on the outside of the building. Murals depicting George Floyd and other victims of police violence were also placed over the shattered windows of the nearby Democratic Party of Arkansas headquarters, which had been damaged Sunday night.

On the Capitol lawn, a memorial to the state's Confederate soldiers was splashed with blue paint Monday night.

Police are investigating an incident during the Monday night protest where protestors broke the windows of a bank building, according to Chief Keith Humphrey.

The bank entrance at the Bank OZK building on 325 W. Capitol Ave. was smashed sometime during the protests that surpassed the begining of the mayor's curfew.

Spokesman Lt. Michael Ford said the department is still compiling information about the incident and will release information as it becomes available.

The department may take some time to obtain that information as police continue monitoring protests, according to Ford.

Arkansas State Police arrested three people relating to the protests Monday, according to spokesman Bill Sadler.

A trooper pulled over Bryan Brown, 53, of North Little Rock just after 11 p.m. at Woodlane Avenue and 6th Street noticing he had bloodshot, watery eyes and asked him to exit the vehicle, according to an arrest report.

Brown refused to exit the vehicle and officers dragged him out and arrested him, the report said.

Brown was taken to the Pulaski County jail where he has no bond and is charged with misdemeanor refusal to submit to a chemical test, misdemeanor public intoxication, misdemeanor failure to obey officers, misdemeanor open container in a vehicle, misdemeanor disorderly conduct, misdemeanor resisting arrest and misdemeanor drinking in public.

Arkansas State Police also arrested Alexander Dodson, 37, and Austin Ebner, 31, for disorderly conduct at Capitol Street and Woodlane Avenue at 11 p.m.

After a car chase from downtown to Baptist Hospital, police arrested a man who stole from an ATM at a downtown bank during the protest, according to an arrest report.

Sean Williams, 30, was seen breaking into an ATM at Arvest Bank on 500 Broadway and rushed to his truck starting a police chase with Arkansas State Police, the report said.

Williams wrecked his vehicle into Baptist Hospital where officers detained and arrested him after a short foot chase.

He was taken to the Pulaski County jail where he is charged with felony breaking or entering felony fleeing in a vehicle, reckless driving, driving on a suspended license and misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

Tony Holt, a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, was recovering Tuesday after being injured during protests Monday night.

Holt said he was taking pictures of property damage done at the Bank OZK on Capitol Street when a small group of people began to gather around him. He said he started down the street in hopes of diffusing the situation but the group followed him.

"I remember someone grabbed my reporter notebook then sprinted away," Holt said. "When I turned around they would stop, but I didn't want to face them because I didn't want the situation to escalate. Then I got struck by something, but I don't remember what."

Holt tweeted out after the incident he "just got struck," but he said Tuesday he had no memory of sending the post or taking the photo. He said the next thing he remembers was a "good Samaritan" walking him to an officer with the Little Rock Police Department.

Information for this report was provided by John Moritz, Stephen Simpson and Kat Stromquist of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

NW News on 06/03/2020

Print Headline: Police arrest 28 demonstrators in Little Rock


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