Mayor Frank Scott Jr. and Police Chief Keith Humphrey will take questions at 3 p.m. today and a special city board session is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. today on public safety in Little Rock.
So far today, I can’t get an answer to my question on whether the 8 p.m. curfew continues in the city. Signs on stores indicate it does.
The news conference will be on the city’s YouTube channel.
Yesterday’s briefing by Scott and Humphrey was heavy on windy rhetoric and short on specifics. Perhaps there’ll be more information today, particularly about those busloads of professional agitators said to be headed here from out of state.
The City Board session could be interesting. There’s unhappiness there with the police chief. And there’s unhappiness in the powerful business establishment on damage done to businesses in four nights of demonstrations that the mayor has supported as overwhelmingful peaceful. He’s blamed problems on outsiders, but no one from out of state has been arrested yet but many locals have been booked.
Perhaps the mayor will adopt the governor’s alibi from earlier this afternoon: Those agitators are REALLY smart. They know how to get others arrested but not themselves.
They can be expected to be asked, I’d guess, about a demonstrator carrying a rifle outside City Hall today. Open carry of rifles is legal in Arkansas. It is not calming. Those who do so claim they do so in the name of the 2nd Amendment and public protection. I suspect a different agenda and don’t believe we need citizen posses roaming the streets. But that’s just me.
UPDATE: My request for information from the city of Little Rock about the invocation of outside threats got this response from the mayor’s private PR contractor, Stephanie Jackson:
U.S. Attorney’s Office would answer questions about the threats.
My response to her, not that it matters with this administration, is that the mayor and police chief invoked outside “professional” actors as justifying a city curfew and warning of serious threats of people arriving by every form of transportation. I think city officials owe the people an answer on how they made those decisions and what information was used in their pronouncements.
I HAVE asked U.S. Attorney Cody Hiland about this same matter (apparently a figment of Bill Barr’s imagination stoked by Internet provocateurs) but he has not responded either.