State Rep. John Walker and a second lawyer involved in a controversial arrest this week by Little Rock Police held a press conference Thursday afternoon to discuss what happened.
Walker and Omavi Shukur spoke for nearly an hour about the events that led to their arrest and also about what they say is the mistreatment of black people in Central Arkansas.
“With these tapes, you saw that we did nothing,” Walker said, speaking of dash camera video from police cruisers.
Walker says he and Shukur were peacefully exercising their right to record police interactions when they were approached by officers who made disparaging comments.
The two men were eventually arrested on misdemeanor obstruction charges which have since been dropped. The city has apologized to Walker — an apology he rejected.
“What happens to me happens to many, many people in our community every day,” he said.
Minority neighborhoods, they say, are targeted by overzealous police, but the majority of the time it goes unnoticed.
“There are countless people that don’t have the privileges that Mr. Walker and I have that fall victim to a lot of the biased and draconian practices of the LRPD,” Shukur said.
Walker says he has not decided whether he’ll file a lawsuit against the city, but that the officers involved should face consequences. He also had harsh criticism for Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner and City Manager Bruce Moore — both high ranking African American city officials.
“The system somehow or another imposes upon black people in positions of authority to act like white people… like white people would normally act in the past and that is to mistreat people who are at the bottom end of the socioeconomic ladder.”
LRPD had no comment on what was said during the press conference.