The 2003 General Assembly enacted a law forbidding racial profiling by police officers, but only after stripping most of the provisions that would have given the law teeth, including one that would have required police to collect data on the number of people stopped for investigation, the reason for the stop, and the race of those stopped. So it was something of a surprise to see a news release from Amnesty International USA saying that “approximately” 286,749 Arkansans had been subjected to racial profiling by law enforcement officers. Where did this figure come from? A spokesman for Amnesty International said that the Arkansas number was an estimate extrapolated from a couple of national surveys, one by Harvard University and one by George Washington University. Incidentally, a governor’s commission on racial profiling has been holding meetings around the state that have been very poorly attended, suggesting that it’s unlikely the law will be strengthened in the 2005 legislative session.
Hog fans just can't quit blaming the refs for the NCAA men's basketball tournament loss to North Carolina. Now the Arkansas Senate has gotten in on the act, with this resolution introduced by Democratic Sen. Keith Ingram and getting bipartisan co-sponsorship from that brutish and short sandlot roundball player, Republican Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson.
IndieWire breaks news long whispered downtown — a more ambitious successor to the Little Rock Film Festival is in the works, with backing from writer/director Jeff Nichols, a Little Rock native. His "Loving" has won wide acclaim recently.