COMMUNITY CRISIS: Ken Richardson calls a meeting.

Speaking of violence and Little Rock neighborhoods:

City Director Ken Richardson tells me that City Manager Bruce Moore has set a time for a neighborhood meeting Richardson has requested on what he calls the “Crisis in the Community.”


It has tentatively been set for 6 p.m.Monday, Nov. 6, at the Wilie Hinton community center on 12th Street.

Stated purpose: To discuss programs to “address public safety in targeted neighborhoods of our community and policing tactics in said neighborhoods.”


Richardson represents central Little Rock, an area particularly affected by violent crime. He has recently been sending a series of notes to city officials objecting to over-aggressive police treatment of people in the neighborhood, such as multiple police cars responding to routine traffic stops. He says these stops have included  stops of single women with children in their cars. He said the tactic contributes to distrust, a factor police have cited in crime solving.

In one e-mail to Moore and others, Richardson wrote:


I witnessed a traffic stop shortly after our conversation on this issue at the conclusion of our budget meeting where 5 units had one car pulled over at the Super Stop gas station across the street. I’ve been getting complaints about this tactic throughout my ward. As I’ve said before, it’s idiotic to make claims that unsolved homicides are the result of no cooperation from the community. One day you’re treated like you’re a trespasser in your own community and the next day you’re my best friend?

He closed the note:

Public safety is consistently touted as the City’s top priority but our efforts have always been couched in the narrow confines of more police and bigger jails. We have plenty of research that says otherwise. Even if that was effective, we’re not hiring officers who live here and in most cases, construction workers who live here?\.  This symbolism has to stop!!!! We have an emergency press conference after the Ultra Power Lounge shooting but no such gesture after the Homicide of a 2 yr old child?? No such gesture after the Homicide of a 3 yr old child???