As peaceful protests in Little Rock began, they quickly turned to violence and chaos.
While Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott told the public that the protests were peaceful, there was a different reality on the streets.
Rioters blocked major highways while shooting fireworks at law enforcement that were deployed to keep them safe.
The flags at the state capital were removed and burned while windows throughout the area were broken. Buildings were burned and rioters threw bricks at law enforcement.
While Little Rock Police officers were being attacked and Mayor Scott told the public the event was peaceful, embattled Little Rock Police Chief Keith Humphrey took on a battle of his own.
According to multiple sources, Little Rock Police Chief Keith Humphrey failed to participate in the Unified Command at the agency, a national standard that requires the involvement of the police chief.
Sources indicate that rather than participating in the Unified Command, Humphrey arrived at the staging area and began screaming at police officers who had not yet been briefed on the plan. An incident that the Little Rock Fraternal Order of Police discussed on their Facebook page.
In an e-mail sent to the agency on Sunday, Humphrey said that he was “embarrassed” by what he saw at the briefings and claims that he saw a “segregated LRPD.”
The Little Rock Fraternal Order of Police wrote on Facebook that “Where the chief saw division, we saw unity. Officers stood shoulder to shoulder in the face of violent assaults. The only color that mattered was blue.”
The FOP continued, “While the unified command post was managing the incident, Chief Humphrey was spreading tension and unease. He yelled at officers, and ordered them to leave the staging area and respond to the incident without a plan, violating one of the basic tenants of incident command.”
Here is their entire message:
Today, Chief Humphrey sent an email, in which he said he was embarrassed by what he saw at briefings. The chief claims that he saw a “segregated LRPD”. Where the chief saw division, we saw unity. Officers stood shoulder to shoulder in the face of violent assaults. The only color that mattered was blue.
Last night, the men and women of the Little Rock Police Department demonstrated the courage, integrity, and honor of true law enforcement professionals. While the protests were initially peaceful, they became violent and destructive. Officers were struck with rocks and bricks, and businesses were damaged. With the assistance of our neighboring agencies and the Arkansas State Police, our officers took quick action to bring the situation under control and contain the chaos. Assistant Chiefs Finks and Fulk demonstrated excellent leadership in the unified command post.
While the unified command post was managing the incident, Chief Humphrey was spreading tension and unease. He yelled at officers, and ordered them to leave the staging area and respond to the incident without a plan, violating one of the basic tenants of incident command. Strong leadership in the command post made adjustments and our officers performed their duties exceptionally.
Every day, we are proud to put on the uniform of the Little Rock Police Department. The LRFOP is made up of a diverse group of races and creeds, who are all unified in their service to the citizens of Little Rock. Things are tough right now, and the police department needs leadership. Rest assured, however, that everyday, we will suit up and go to work, to serve the citizens with courage, integrity, and honor.
LASTLY, YOU ARE NOT AN EMBARRASSMENT, EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU ACTED AS TRUE PROFESSIONALS!