Former Police Chief Sonny Simpson dies | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Former Police Chief Sonny Simpson dies

Posted By on Tue, Feb 5, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Former Little Rock Police Chief Walter E. "Sonny" Simpson died this morning of apparent natural causes while driving to lunch, friends say. He was 77.

Simpson, who lives on the western side of Little Rock, was found in his pickup in a ditch on Grassy Drive, just off Lawson Road, about 11:11 a.m., the sheriff's office said. He was unresponsive and taken to Baptist Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Simpson was a pivotal figure in Little Rock politics in years past. He joined the department in 1959 and eventually served nine years as chief, from 1977 to 1986. He rose to the post after suing successfully over his demotion to jailer by then-Chief Gale Weeks. Weeks and other department leaders believed Simpson had improperly provided help to attorneys in a broad race discrimination case against the department. Until then, he'd been a department rising star, popular as a public information officer. He started the department's Crime Stoppers program

Simpson was close friends, too, with pharmacist and former Mayor George Wimberly, whose drugstore was a hangout of political people and law officers. Wimberly's filing of a theft charge against a popular police chief whom Simpson had once promoted, Jess F. "Doc" Hale, became another consuming city controversy for a time. People took sides for and against the prosecution of Hale, who committed suicide in 1988. After retirement as a law officer, Simpson devoted some years to turf farming.

Tags: ,


Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Where's the outrage?

    Am I the only person, apart from federal prosecutors, outraged about the criminal enterprise that inveigled itself into a privileged position as an Arkansas taxpayer-financed human services provider to the tune, today, of $43 million a year?
    • Jun 21, 2018
  • Where's the outrage?

    • Jun 21, 2018
  • Rutledge opponent hits her socializing with corporate interests

    Mike Lee, the Democratic candidate for attorney general, has criticized Attorney General Leslie Rutledge over recent reports of her participation at private meetings where corporate interests make big contributions to a political group she heads for access to state legal officers.
    • Jun 21, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Women's March planned in Arkansas to mark Trump inauguration

    Speaking of Donald Trump and in answer to a reader's question: There will be a women's march in Arkansas on Jan. 21, the day after inauguration, as well as the national march planned in Washington.
    • Dec 30, 2016
  • ADEQ denies C&H Hog Farm permit

    The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality has denied a new permit for the C&H Hog Farms' concentrated animal feeding operation near Mount Judea (Newton County). This is a big and somewhat surprising victory for critics who have viewed C&H's large-scale pig farm and the pig waste it generates as an existential threat to the Buffalo National River.
    • Jan 10, 2018
  • Your daily dose of Jason Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert really, really didn't like it when a KATV reporter asked him about the hypocrisy of his political arguments.
    • Feb 4, 2017

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation