LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — In light of the protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Little Rock Police Chief Keith Humphrey addressed the community — in a video released Friday afternoon. At one point he said he’s fortunate to wear two hats — those being the police chief but also being an African American man and he understands both sides.
“I become emotional,” Little Rock police chief Keith Humphrey said.
LRPD Chief Keith Humphrey addressed the big news taking over national headlines, the death of George Floyd.
“Millions of people were able to see a human being die in his last moments of life at the hands of a law enforcement officer,” Humphrey said.
Floyd, an unarmed black man, died Monday in Minneapolis, after telling police officers he couldn’t breathe while being pinned down to the ground.
“There’s nothing you can do to explain the actions of that officer,” Humphrey said. “There’s nothing you can say to justify the actions of that officer.”
And with protests in Minneapolis and now across the country, Humphrey has a message for the Capitol city.
“As an executive, I have to ensure that I’m honest with our community, that we’re transparent. When things like this happen, although it did not happen here in Little Rock, I still have to let our community know that I see what’s going on and I hear their concerns,” Humphrey said.
In the video, Humphrey said police aren’t perfect but that’s why they train and talk openly about incidents like George Floyd.
“We can’t take twenty steps backwards after taking three steps forward and it’s sometimes hard to recover. That’s why we have to take a higher step and we have to be better.”
He also noted that the Little Rock Police Department focuses on the 21ST century policing and he believes something like this won’t happen in Little Rock.
“I was pleased that he issued a video,” Arkansas Public Policy Panelist, Kymara Seals said. “I think it’s important with him being the leader he is.”
Members with Indivisible, a local activist group in Central Arkansas said they want to see this go a step further.
“I would like to see our white allies, genuinely join us in this fight,” Seals said.
“We thought it was very important that our friends in the black community here in central Arkansas knew where we stand on this.. and if they need support and amplification on their voice of this issue that we’ll be there,” Indivisible Little Rock & Central Arkansas, Loriee Evans said.
In the video, Humphrey also called for a throughout the investigation of this incident. He isn’t the only one to respond to this case and reassure the community. It’s also been done in cities like Houston, and Miami.