Saturday, July 1, 2017


LRPD says 25 people were shot after gunfire rang out Saturday at a rap show at a downtown Little Rock nightclub, prompting pleas from top leaders to curb the growing violence in Arkansas' capital city.

Police said the shooting at Power Ultra Lounge was the result of a dispute among clubgoers and not an active shooter or terror-related incident. Little Rock police said Saturday that 25 people were shot and three others suffered unrelated injuries. All were expected to survive, police said.

Police early Saturday cordoned off the block as crime-scene technicians gathered evidence from inside and outside the club. Glass from the club's second-story windows littered the ground, along with empty drink cups.

Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner told reporters that "some sort of dispute broke out between people inside" the club and that there are "probably multiple shooting suspects."

"Some sorta dispute broke out..." LRPD Chief Kenton Buckner

A video posted online by a club patron, Darryl Rankin, showed a packed house for Finese2Tymes, a performer from Memphis, Tenn. About a half-minute into a break in the raucous concert, several bursts of gunfire rang out — more than 24 shots in an 11-second period.

RANKIN (on right) and rapper FINESSES2TYMES (on left)  IN A FACEBOOK POST IN OCTOBER 2016

Rankin told the Associated Press that he was recording the show on Facebook Live when gunfire erupted and that one of his friends is now at a hospital with a bullet "stuck in his spine."

The shooting follows a week in which there have been a dozen drive-by shootings in Little Rock, though there's no indication that the events are linked.

"Little Rock's crime problem appears to be intensifying," Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a statement. "Every few days it seems a high-profile shooting dominates the news, culminating with this morning's event. I have spoken this morning with Mayor Stodola and I have offered both my heartfelt concern over this senseless violent tragedy and state assets as needed to address the continued threat of violence in our community."

"Little Rock's crime problem appears to be intensifying," Gov. Asa Hutchinson

The club's Facebook page promoted Friday night's show with a poster depicting Finesse2Tymes pointing a gun at the camera.

This is the original image used in the poster.

And a similar one from a different angle.

Mayor Mark Stodola said on Facebook that more information would be released at a news conference Saturday afternoon.

Don't expect to hear Mayor Stodola furnish a report by the task force he created several years ago to address violence in Little Rock.  It was only a PR move by a failed mayor to try and fool the public that he was actually doing something.

Back in January, Chief Buckner touted  a new permanent unit focusing on preventing violent crime in 2017, the new Violent Crime Reduction Team.

"The job for this unit is not sit on our heels and wait to be called but to proactively go into these historical hot spots and focus on these key violent offenders," said Chief Buckner at the time.

"I feel like we are a reactive police department. Right now, we do a great job of showing up doing a very thorough investigation, we get the bad guy more often that not when we have good information but we really don't have a proactive footprint." said Chief Buckner.

Chief Buckner hoped to change that with an intelligence led team allowing data to direct locations and people police focus on.

"If we're dealing with individuals we have a legitimate reason to why we stopped you," says Chief Buckner.

Then in a specially called meeting by the Little Rock Board of Directors to address what City Director Doris Wright termed  "a seige," Chief Bucker told board members that his agency would not increase patrols in the area were the shootings had occured and would not stop individuals and see if there were up to no good - the very function of the elite unit he established just a few months earlier.

Bucker spent most the the meeting touting his own performance, one that the Little Rock Racial and Cultural Diversity Commission had determined was a failure after Bucker demand that they rate him and give him a letter grade.

Bucker stated at the special called meeting that LRPD can't do anything about the crime that occurs in Little Rock,placing all the blame on parents, citing a "lack of parenting" and  "a lack of involvement by the community." Bucker also remarked that his department would not waste time enforcing the curfew that the board enacted years ago.

The is not the first time Buckner has pulled those excuses out of his ass.  He used them when he was an assistant chief with the Louiville, KY police department. 

Turns out that LRPD officers were working off-duty at the club but were hanging out outside when the violence erupted and did not apprehend a single suspect.

At a press conference this afternoon, blame was placed on two rival groups - the city and police refuse to utter the word "gangs" and Chief Buckner decked out in uniform. Buckner hinted that the recent drive-by shooting might be related to these groups. 

  "I think when you get two groups from LR & Memphis together it is a recipe for disaster. " - Chief Buckner
We have a serious crisis in Little Rock stemming from a police department that will not enforce laws that they have sworn to uphold* and city leadership that has shown they are not capable of doing anything at all about the state of affairs in the city.

We need new leadership at city hall. It's time for Mayor Stodola, City Manager Bruce Moore and the Board of Directors to be replaced.

* Chief Buckner has stated that his officers will not enforce the juvenile curfew and a whole list of other violations that he says they don't have time for. He has also stated that his department does not have time to investigate property crimes, like residential burglaries.