Protesters picketed Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley’s office today over his recent decision not to file charges against Little Rock Police Officer Charles Starks, who fatally shot Bradley Blackshire when he tried to drive away during an investigation of a stolen car.
Jegley has already made his decision not to prosecute. New Police Chief Keith Humphrey has fired Starks and Starks has appealed the firing to the Little Rock Civil Service Commission.
Suggestions that Jegley be recalled or defeated are likely futile. There is no recall provision for prosecutors in Arkansas. Jegley, who was re-elected in 2018, isn’t expected to seek re-election in 2022.
UPDATE: police later arrested demonstrators for impeding traffic the police release:
On May 14, 2019, at 1:30 pm, the Little Rock Police Department was notified of a protest at the Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, located at 224 S. Spring Street. During the protest a portion of 3rd Street was blocked by protesters, not allowing motorist to travel in this area. Officers provided multiple verbal warnings for protestors to return to the sidewalk and to exit the roadway. Upon providing these warnings, the protestors returned to the sidewalk and began walking towards Broadway Street.
The group of protestors continued walking in the area using sidewalks and crossing lanes from 3rd Street to Broadway. While walking in the crossing lanes, the protestors walked in a manner that impeded traffic flow. Shortly after, the protestors walked north on Broadway Street in the direction of Markham Street. While at the intersection of Broadway and Mark- ham, a group of protestors walked east bound on Markham crossing Broadway Street while Broadway traffic signals were green for motorist to travel north and south bound. At this point, the group of protestors again began to impede the flow of traffic for motorist. The decision was made by City Administration that the protestors would not be allowed to disrupt traffic and for them to be arrested for Disorderly Conduct.
A total of ten (10) protestors were arrested and transported to the Pulaski County Jail for processing. During the course of the transport, one suspect complained of feeling ill. Medical personnel (MEMS) responded to the Pulaski County Jail to examine the suspect. Once examinef by medical staff, this suspect was also processed into the Pulaski County Jail. All ten protestors were charged with Disorderly Conduct.
Note that the picture above was taken a good while before the arrests, while the protesters were indisputably causing no problems. They dispute, too, the subsequent arrests and are in communication with the ACLU and a law firm to challenge the arrests. They say police followed them as they legally paraded on sidewalks and then made arrests as they crossed streets. One protestor tells me no one impeded traffic, though some might have been in a crosswalk while a “don’t walk” light was flashing. Some video shows people stopped in a crosswalk waving signs. Still, the suspicion arises that extra-tough police enforcement is tied to the subject of the protest — against a police killing.
Here’s some video from one of those protesting.