Mayor Scott says Little Rock police didn’t use tear gas against protesters

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. will hold a press conference at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday to address Saturday protests and the response by the Little Rock Police Department throughout the event.

On Saturday, protesters began a peaceful assembly at the Arkansas State Capitol around 10 a.m.

By around 8 p.m. that night, protesters made their way onto I-630 in downtown Little Rock.

Watch Mayor Scott’s press conference here:

9:30 a.m.

Mayor Scott said throughout the day there were several peaceful protests in Little Rock and that the Little Rock Police Department protected the protesters during that, including when protesters made their way onto I-630 temporarily.

“While some may disagree with what transpired last night, but we have to understand that we have people in a city, in a land that are experiencing hurt, heart aching pain,” the mayor said. “Pain of not just of George Floyd in Minneapolis, but pain of black men and women that have experienced deaths this year, last year and many years ago.”

Scott said there wasn’t any major damage after there was some graffiti and broken windows near the Arkansas State Capitol.

“We will focus on peace, protection, and opportunity for all,” Scott said.

Little Rock Police Chief Keith Humphrey said there was some damage and vandalism at the state Capitol building.

Humphrey also said there were several incidents of damage throughout the downtown area.

Someone also drove through the front door of the Target on University Avenue in attempt to steal some items. The suspects were arrested at the scene.

“As a police department we are there to assist individuals, not hinder their first amendment right,” Humphrey said.

No arrests were made except for the two at the Target.

Mayor Scott said tear gas was not deployed by the Little Rock Police Department.

9:00 a.m.

Protesters made their way back to the Capitol where someone had spray painted “Black Lives Matter” onto the steps.

Another group pulled down the flags and burned at least one of them.

Around 10 p.m. on Saturday, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he directed Arkansas State Police to “work with local law enforcement to stop the damage to the Capitol.”

Reports then started coming out on social media from protesters that state police were shooting tear gas as protesters.

Eventually a group of protesters made their way back to the Capitol. A standoff between state police and protesters at the Arkansas State Capitol began around 11:30 p.m.

Someone in the crowd threw an item at the state police and officers then deployed more tear gas, which made the crowd disperse and leave the area.

At least one officer was injured at rocks were reportedly thrown at her during the protests.

We will update this article with more information as it becomes available.

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