POLICE RAID DISCUSSION: The city attorney claimed videos of conroversial raid were edited. Washington Post writer begs to differ.

Radley Balko, the Washington Post writer who’s exposed Little Rock police drug raid practices, has been pressing the city on its defense of LRPD.

In a series of Tweets recently, he took exception to City Attorney Tom Carpenter’s assertion to the City Board that the door-exploding raid of a drug suspect who’s brought a lawsuit over the fruitless tossing of his apartment was “edited.” This followed comments sympathetic to the suspect by Director Doris Wright.


Roll the tape of the raid, Balko suggests.

The issue is not done. It would be nice if the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette would either reprint Balko’s work, to which it has exclusive rights in this market, or release its hold on the story so someone else could run it.


The good news is that Frank Scott Jr., in running for mayor, expressed concern about the disclosures, one of the things that got him crosswise with the Little Rock Fraternal Order of Police, who endorsed Baker Kurrus. Scott will choose a new police chief this spring. He’s spoken of his knowledge of sometimes abusive LRPD practices, having grown up on the poor and minority side of town. His ultimate leadership on this issue, along with that of the new chief, have the potential to change police practices as well as the community view of the department.

Change would be welcome. Such as more police officers  who thought the city wasn’t a bad place to live. So would a community review board on police use of force.


Worth mentioning, too, is the LRPD’s slowness in providing details about fatal police shootings, such as yesterday’s after a suspected car thief reportedly hit an officer while apparently fleeing a traffic stop on 12th Street.  No names have been released for the victim or officer. There’s been the barest account of details. In years past, more information was made available sooner. I was surprised, too, that a fatal police shooting — justified though it may have been — managed only to squeeze onto the back page of the second news section of the Democrat-Gazette.