RODERICK TALLEY: New representation in his case over Little Rock police drug raid tactics. Roderick Talley/Washington Post

A news conference is scheduled today by civil rights lawyers related to reporting yesterday in the Washington Post that raises multiple questions about drug raid tactics by the Little Rock Police Department.

As noted here, Radley Balko reported on results of a lengthy investigation of LRPD practices. He found questionable use of no-knock search warrants, an unreliable informant, suspect testimony by officers, constitutional violations in search warrant issuance, dangerous tactics, unjustified arrests and a pattern of emphasis on black suspects.


Balko focused on a particular raid, of the home of Roderick Talley, who had a home security camera that not only captured a raid but tended to disprove the story told by police to justify it. A charge of drug trafficking against him was dropped for lack of evidence.


Talley for the longest pursued his complaint against police on his own including in a pro se lawsuit filed in federal district court. But now he has legal help on his side, lawyers Ben Crump and Mike Laux.

They plan a news conference in Little Rock this morning to talk about their representation of Talley.  Said a release:


They will demonstrate the existence of a pattern at the LRPD of submitting unconstitutionally vague affidavit in order to secure “no-knock” search warrant. They will further explain the significant implications of these unconstitutional governmental actions going forward, including necessary re-examination of all convictions for individuals currently serving time based on similar false affidavits from these same detectives or others. In short, every single conviction stemming from the work of these detectives simply must be re-evaluated–and likely expunged or otherwise nulled–in light of what we have uncovered.

City Attorney Tom Carpenter declined most comment to Balko for his article, but defended the legality of police action.

For the record, here’s Talley’s original federal lawsuit, filed last December. It describes the raid the damage he believes he suffered from his door being blown off.