Some more comments have been made in response to my requests for reaction to the bombshell reporting by the Washington Post’s Radley Balko on questionable tactics by Little Rock police drug raid teams.
City Director Doris Wright joined Vice Mayor Kathy Webb’s earlier expression of concern.
I learned about this issue on last night; I found the article very disturbing and I have requested more information on the procedures used in these raid and the rationale behind their use.
City Director Lance Hines ducked the question in the same manner Mayor Mark Stodola and several others have.
Since the subject of this article is part of an ongoing litigation with the city I won’t have any comment. I look forward to seeing all the facts of the case come out at trial.
The article is about MUCH more than the lawsuit filed pro se last year by Roderick Talley,
Webb has said she hopes for a discussion at the City Board tonight. Citizens of Little Rock should, too. The leading candidates for mayor have all expressed at least some degree of concern. Those on the board unwilling to go even that far are a good example of why change is so desperately needed at City Hall.
Media note: Curiously low profile for this story in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, its coverage limited to brief comments from the mayoral candidates and precious little of the meat of Radley Balko’s story, first reported locally here Sunday. It isn’t going away.
UPDATE: There was some discussion about the issue by the City Board. Russ Racop. a candidate for city director and frequent critic of the
City Director Ken Richardson also questioned the type of people used as informants, people who’ve bargained down their own criminal cases.
Chief Kenton Buckner spoke to answer a question from Richardson about
Webb asked Buckner for a broader comment on the article. Carpenter interrupted before Buckner could answer, saying he was a defendant in the lawsuit.
Richardson said the episode suggested to him, again, the value of de-prioritizing marijuana arrests. That’s an idea Richardson has floated unsuccessfully though it has been adopted in many cities. In some of the busts cited by the Post after SWAT raids, the only drug arrests that resulted, if any, were minor marijuana offenses.