LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — After an afternoon press conference to address public safety at continuing social protests across the state, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he has had meetings with participants of some of the recent mass assemblies to discuss solutions to their concerns.
Like much of the U.S., the state has seen widespread public protests over the last week in the wake of the nationally reverberating death of George Floyd, an African-American, by Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, in Minneapolis.
While many protests in Arkansas have been peaceful, there have been instances of police force to disperse crowds that have resulted in crowd injuries and property vandalism.
Hutchinson spoke to the role of law enforcement in his 1:00 p.m. press conference on Wednesday (Jun 3), a day after he signed an executive order to activate the Arkansas National Guard for a state of emergency due to 'civil disturbance.'
“We will not tolerate the destruction of private property and the expression of violence. We want to protect peaceful protests, but we want to make sure that we have an environment where people are safe in their persons and their property,” Hutchinson said. “Their [coordinated law enforcement’s] goal was to keep the peace, protect the free expression of protesters and to prevent violence.”
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