LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Little Rock Police Department has released video footage of the arrest of a state representative who had been filming a traffic stop.
Footage released Wednesday by the Little Rock Police Department show state Rep. John Walker’s arrest from the dashboard cameras in four patrol cars. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/2dhqUAH ) that the incident occurred on Monday.
Police officers say Walker, a civil rights attorney, was filming a traffic stop involving two black men, when he and another lawyer got too close to the scene and refused to back away.
According to the newspaper’s description of the footage, one of the officers, who is white, accused Walker of being a “race-baiter.”
“You’re the type of person that goes around and tries to exploit this to where it causes chaos and (stuff) like that,” said Officer Jason Roberts tells Walker on the video.
Both lawyers were arrested and charged with obstructing governmental operation, but the charges have since been dropped.
Police Chief Kenton Buckner has apologized to Walker, however Walker rejected the apology.
“I appreciate your effort to address the matter by providing further training to your officers,” Walker wrote in a letter after Bucker said police will review the case for training purposes. “However, you must also recognize the issue of racial bias that is pervasive in some quarters of the police department.”
Walker and Rep. Richard Womack co-sponsored a bill intended to protect the rights of Arkansas residents to film or photograph in public places. It became a law last year.
An internal police investigation of the incident is ongoing.
Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com