Little Rock’s Black Police Chief and the Campaign Against Reform

Just how strong are the forces arrayed against police reform — and how far are they willing to go? In April 2019, Keith Humphrey was appointed police chief in Little Rock, Arkansas, a Southern city with a fraught history of racial division. Among the growing number of Black police chiefs, Humphrey came in with a mandate from the new mayor to implement reforms and curtail abuses. Almost as quickly as he set about to do that work, the city’s “old guard,” the police union, and even cops under Humphrey’s own command struck back. The aim, to many observers, was simple: to oust Humphrey.

This week on Intercepted: Radley Balko joins The Intercept's Ali Gharib to talk about Humphrey’s ordeal. Then Balko speaks to Little Rock civil rights attorney Mike Laux and former LRPD Lieut. Johnny Gilbert Jr. Balko, an award-winning journalist and columnist at the Washington Post, is the author of “Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces” and co-author, with Tucker Carrington, of “The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist: A True Story of Injustice in the American South.”

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