In its last meeting of the year on Tuesday evening, the Little Rock Board of Directors voted to appoint five people to the city’s first citizens review board. The board will review police action, and it will be able to conduct investigations into corruption, discrimination and use of force.
As required by the July ordinance that established the board, two of its members include a representative from the business community and one involved in “community matters.” Nikolai Fisken, an executive vice president at Stephens, will fill the business position and Michal Harris, a grant writer who founded the Ikarus Youth Outreach Program nonprofit, will fill the community position. Harris has also served on the city’s Racial and Cultural Diversity Commission since 2018.
The board’s three at-large members are Mary Carroll Poole, director of government affairs for Paschall Strategic Communications; Maria Smedley, vice president of human resources and corporate strategy for Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp.; and Derrick Smith, an attorney with corporate law firm Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates and Woodyard.
According to documents received through the Freedom of Information Act by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the city received 26 applications for the citizens review board.
Mayor Frank Scott Jr. said the first meeting of the board has not been set, as members will first receive training from Little Rock Police Chief Keith Humphrey, City Attorney Tom Carpenter and a U.S. Department of Justice official.